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As more facts accumulate about toxic groundwater, nuclear waste, loss of ozone, and rates of forest cutting, one becomes most naturally overwhelmed by the extent of the damage. this can induce a state of denial, leaving one paralyzed to act. But for some the opposite happens. I have seen students and others experience profound moments of awakening to global interdependence. As their minds open, they see that the environment is everything. It is not just where we live; it is the very reason we are alive.

…the natural world is a place of truth, generating ethical power by its very existence. In this book I have taken trees as a place to investigate this naturally occurring truth. It is my sense that the root of ethical response springs from revelatory experience, the sort of encounter that penetrates to the core, illuminating one’s perspective on everything. The power of this experience elicits awe, sometimes dread, sometimes unifying love. It is not something to be taken lightly. In meeting the trees I have asked for this direct encounter, wanting to be moved as deeply as possible by the trees themselves.

—Stephanie Kaza
The Attentive Heart. Conversations with Trees