Familiarizing Ourselves with Change

“So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre. All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.” -page 113

The discussion of change has been a prominent one throughout our time reading both Thoreau and McKibben. Here, Thoreau establishes change as a “miracle.” I want to focus on change in the context of nature. He was living in a time before climate change was radically affecting nature and its processes; however, his discussions of our discomfort towards accepting change are pertinent in today’s political and social climate. McKibben speaks of how quickly change can take place, and how, in terms of climate change, these changes are often completely overlooked in favor of greed and comfort. In this case, the changes that we are witnessing are not “miracles,” but I do think that it is poignant that Thoreau speaks of the refusal to accept change when that is, in fact, one of the largest problems surrounding the climate crisis today, and one of the largest threats to the nature that he reveres so highly.

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