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— I think of the black phoebe perched on the dried spine of last year's flower who doesn't see the end in sight. I think of the valley, which, like a thirsty houseplant responding to a drink of water, will put on a new green suit after the slightest bit of rain. I think of Rachel Carson exhorting us from the grave that it is our obligation to endure. Of E.O. Wilson urging us to be stewards of the land...or else. Of Portland, Oregon, where they ripped out the freeway along the Willamette River and built an extensive park. All that can be done is to cling to the dried spine of last year's flower.

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