Living Legacy of



Wildness Within


Having parents who taught me what wilderness was about eighty years ago, I have tried to share the wealth of wilderness for most of those years, and wasn't succeeding as I wanted to because too few people had shared a moving experience with wilderness out there. After too long it occurred to me to ask them to think not about what was out, but what was in--the wildness we are all constantly experiencing, but usually taking totally for granted, the wildness within. I'd give a book that title.

The opportunity to think about using that title came up when a New York publishing friend, with whom we later did not agree as well as we should have, suggested he would like to publish two books. One, inspired by the Rev. Francis Sayre, of the Washington Cathedral, he would name "Sayre's Prayers." The other he would call "Brower's Hours." It would be in Exhibit Format, drawn from my Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth books in that format, more than thirty of them in eighteen years, including a spread of image and selected texts to cover each of a year's 366 days (leap year included), and weighing about eight pounds. We would devise furniture to support it, and other promotion on need.

Publisher Werner Linz, editor Bruce Colman, photographer Joseph Holmes, and I devoted some months and eight thousand dollars of my own working on this pretty impressive retrospective of what a frustrated conservationist deemed important. We thought we were on target. Three publishers agreed. Our printer in Verona, Mondadori Editori, produced the eight-pound dummy. Then, years ago, the world kept turning, at intervals of a day or so, it's habit. The book didn't turn. . . .

So here it comes, on the web, with new thoughts from my immediate family, especially our middle son Bob, who did the precision engineering mechanicals for Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth books, and now finds things computers can do that I prefer not to learn. "At intervals of a day or so" is vague. But why not? Nature is not all that predictable yet, so why should we try to pretend we know what's up?   -- DRB


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