An Obituary

for the Land

By Terry Tempest WilliamsAmerican writer, educator, conservationist, and activist.

"To the power of these burning illuminated Western lands who have shaped her character, inspired our souls, and restored our belief in what is beautiful and enduring, I will never write your obituary because even as you burn, you are throwing down seeds that will sprout and flower.

"Trees will grow and forests will rise again as living testaments to how one survives change.

"Let this be a humble tribute, an exaltation, an homage, an open-hearted eulogy to all we are losing to fire, to floods, to hurricanes, and tornadoes, and the invisible virus that has called us all home and brought us to our knees.

"We are not the only species that lives and loves and breathes on this planet called Earth.

"May we raise a fistful of ash to other lives lost that it holds.

"Grief is love. How can we hold this grief without holding each other?

"I will mark my heart with an ‘X’ made of ash that says, ‘the power to restore life resides here.’ The future of our species will be decided here, not by facts, but by love and loss.

Let us cry every day like rain in the desert.

Penned on my heart, I pledge of allegiance to the only home I will ever know.”

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