The other day someone told me one of those amazing German compound words: Waldeinsamkeit. It means the feeling of being alone in the forest, in a calm and peaceful way—communing with nature, if you like.
Waldeinsamkeit has no equivalent in English, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need it: we need nature, and we need new ways to think about it, because our relationship to nature is becoming very strange. Anyone who’s paying attention has a more or less conscious sense that something has gone very wrong with our world. People have been talking about ‘shifting baselines’—the way each generation takes the conditions they grow up with as the status quo, and how that blinds us to what is happening, and how fast.
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