There is an intimate reciprocity to the senses; as we touch the bark of a tree, we feel the tree touching us; as we lend our ears to the local sounds and ally our nose to the seasonal scents, the terrain gradually tunes us in turn. The senses, that is, are the primary way that the earth has of informing our thoughts and of guiding our actions. Huge centralized programs, global initiatives, and other ‘top down” solutions will never suffice to restore and protect the health of the animate earth. For it is only at the scale of our direct, sensorial interactions with the land around us that we can appropriately notice and respond to the immediate needs of the living world.
Yet at the scale of our sensing bodies the earth is astonishingly, irreducibly diverse. It discloses itself to our senses not as a uniform planet inviting global principles, but as this forested realm embraced by water, or a windswept prairie, or a desert silence. We can know the needs of any particular region only by participating in its specificity – by becoming familiar with its cycles and styles, awake and attentive to its other inhabitants.
Source: The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage), Pages: 268
Contributed by: Siona