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“Ultimately and most importantly, mountains quicken our sense of wonder. The true blessing of mountains is not that they provide a challenge or a contest, something to be overcome and dominated (although this is how many people have approached them). It is that they offer something gentler and infinitely more powerful: they make us ready to credit marvels – whether it is the dark swirls which water makes beneath a plate of ice, or the feel of the soft pelts of moss which form on the lee sides of boulders and trees. Being in the mountains reignites our astonishment at the simplest transactions of the physical world: a snowflake a millionth of an ounce in weight falling on to one’s outstretched palm, water patiently carving a tunnel in a face of granite, the apparently motiveless shift of a stone in a scree-filled gully. To put a hand down and feel the ridges and scores in a rock where a glacier has passed, to hear how a hillside comes alive with moving water after a rain shower, to see late summer light filling miles of landscape like an inexhaustible liquid – none of these is a trivial experience. Mountains return to us the priceless capacity for wonder which can so insensibly be leaved away by modern existence, and they urge us to apply that wonder to our own everyday lives.”
— Robert MacFarlane
I visited a wonderful school in Los Angeles where they say this pledge every day, along with the Pledge of Allegiance. Together, they make a truly inspiring start for the day!
THE PLEDGE TO THE EARTH
I pledge allegiance to the Earth on which I stand, one world, one people, undivided, with nature, food, shelter, and justice for all.