James A. Morris
Some days the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada range were visible while growing up in the San Joaquin Valley of California. My parents said I went "camping" in my first year. A neighbor introduced me to the wonders of backpacking on a September trip into the high Sierras. And later, there were the treks in the western United States and South America.
From nature we take and produce our food, shelter, medicines, and other necessities of life. Camping or trekking in wild areas are not essential to this end, but in doing so we develop our bodies and refresh our minds. Touching the bark of a tree, or breathing the cold, sharp winter air flowing over a ridge, or enduring the heat of a summer sun rising over the plains, we realize we are part of a much larger and mysterious world. Precious wetlands, small untouched places, the openness of the plains and deserts, free flowing rivers, each offers unique ways to re-create, to discover visions beyond ourselves and our everyday needs.
Why have I provided a gift to The Wilderness Society? Everyone, especially in our contemporary, urbanized society, needs to have some connection with nature/wilderness. Working with diverse interests in a variety of ways, the Society seeks to extend protection of our wilderness areas. In doing so, we help preserve the opportunity for future generations to experience the unique aspects of a pristine natural environment. We can never fully reciprocate the advantages gained from nature, but efforts to enhance our relationship with wilderness can be our contribution and our legacy.
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