"... I think there is another language, the forgotten language of the land. Its alphabet is the elements themselves, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen. The words of this language are living beings, and its syntax is connection. There is a flow of information, a network of relationship conveyed in the rising sap of cedars, in tree roots grafted to fungi, and fungi to orchids, orchids to bees, bees to bats, bats to owls, owls to bones, and bones to the soil of cedars. This is the language we have yet to learn and the stories we must hear; stories that are simultaneously material and spiritual. The archive of this language, the sacred text, is the land itself. In the woods, there is a constant stream of data, lessons on how we might live, stories of reciprocity, stories of connection. Species far older than our own show us daily how to live. We need to listen to the land, not merely for data, but for wisdom."
Robin Wall Kimmerer in Brodie, Nathaniel, Charles Goodrich, and Frederick J. Swanson, eds. Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest. pp. 48-49 © 2016. Reprinted with permission of the University of Washington Press.