I'm reading one of my Christmas presents, For the Health of the Land, some of Aldo Leopold's previously unpublished essays and other writings. Scott Russell Sanders wrote the foreword, in which he says "... the Midwest is plain and straightforward, yet shadowed with mystery; open and welcoming, yet reserved; full of promise and hope, yet acquainted with grief. The Midwest is a fertile, well-watered landscape, long inhabited, much abused and much adored, deeply scarred but also quick to heal if given half a chance." I had the pleasure of meeting (in person) and spending some time with Scott last autumn at the Loft's writer's workshop at the Audubon Center of the North Woods. Modest as he is, he never mentioned that he had written the foreward. Although I'm a native New Englander, I've lived in the Midwest long enough to recognize the truth in Scott's description. On this last day of 2012, please join me in looking forward to a 2013 in which we all agree to give the Midwest, and the rest of the world, half a chance to heal.
Happy New Year!