We went to the water’s edge, far-far below the falls, where the banks gave way, where rabbits used to run, where does and fawns found berries, before the rivers froze, before feral foxes arrived, before bald eagles swooped low, before beavers built dams, before hikers made trails, before day-trippers trekked, before nature packed her bags, before surveyors measured lines, before forests and fields turned into villages and towns. Yes, way back when (we like to say) when we and the woods were one — Sacredly So — not split — torn — hacked — cracked — whacked — buried — burned — seared — scarred — scattered — chopped — bought — sold — or hauled off — or simply left — to rot. This is not why we used to walk to the water’s edge — far below — hidden by trees — on paths of Silent Beauty — before we were all — felled — just so.
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Susan Powers Bourne