“I long ago lost a hound, a bay horse, and a turtle-dove, and am still on their trail. Many are the travelers I have spoken concerning them, describing their tracks and what calls they answered to. I have met one or two who have heard the hound, and the tramp of the horse, and even seen the dove disappear behind a cloud, and they seemed as anxious to recover them as if they had lost them themselves.”

~ Thoreau, Walden

In the West today it seems that we live in the shadow of a loss we are at pains to understand. We scramble in the shadows for we know not what and even if we laid hands on the Necessary Thing might fail to recognize it. But perhaps it has something to do with fidelity and companionship (the hound), with valor and intrepidity (the horse) and with peace and transcendent vision (the dove).

I am not an intellectual or academic. I am not a skilled speaker or debater. I am a middle-aged man, a husband, a father. I read books, walk in the woods, and work in my garden. It is not my intent to indulge in chicken-little-ism. I hope that we may yet shrug off our forgetfulness and recover the Necessary Thing. I only want to remember.