You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.
I am as frustrated with society as a pyromaniac in a petrified forest.
I studied at UC Santa Cruz before going on to do a grad program at UCLA. Santa Cruz was like an awesome hippie summer camp. I got to take a vacation from reality and hang out on beaches and in forests.
One of the things I learned, one of the strangest things, is how to think. There was nothing else to do. I couldn't see people, or go for a walk in the forest. All I had was my head and my books, and I thought a lot.
But I'll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected with everything.
Before you rip off three feet of toilet paper, consider that each year 500,000 acres of virgin boreal forest in northern Alberta and Ontario are being clear-cut to make the stuff. These forests are home to some 500 First Nation communities, as well as caribou and bears, moose and wolves, and, in the summertime, billions of songbirds.
The Awa are a distinctive-looking, diminutive forest people, smaller than any of the dozen other Amazon tribespeople I have met. Reduced size is adaptive in a rain forest. You can move around more easily and unobtrusively. Not only humans but other species are smaller in rain forests.
Even as global warming increases the frequency of El Nino and the Atlantic event, their effects are being amplified by the annual loss of an area of rain forest the size of New Jersey. Less rain falls, and the water runs into the rivers instead of being sucked up by the fungus filaments and tree roots.
It is one thing to hear about the forest and the river, but an entirely other experience to go there, to see the environment, and to appreciate the natural riches there first-hand.
On a regular basis, I conduct work in the Amazon, establishing trade for medicinal plants, and working with small communities to improve their economies and to help protect forest acreage.