"Knowledge has entertained me and it has shaped me and it has failed me. Something in me still starves. In what is probably the most serious inquiry of my life, I have begun to look past reason, past the provable, in other directions. Now I think there is only one subject worth my attention and that is the precognition of the spiritual side of the world and, within this recognition, the condition of my own spiritual state. I am not talking about having faith necessarily, although one hopes to. What I mean by spirituality is not theology, but attitude. Such interest nourishes me beyond the finest compendium of facts. In my mind now, in any comparison of demonstrated truths and unproven but vivid intuitions, the truths lose.
"I would therefore write a kind of elemental poetry that doesn't just avoid indoors but doesn't even see the doors that lead inward – to laboratories, to textbooks, to knowledge. I would not talk about the wind, and the oak tree, and the leaf on the oak tree, but on their behalf. I would talk about the owl and the thunderworm and the daffodil and the red-spotted newt as a company of spirits, as well as bodies. I would say that the fox stepping out over the snow has nerves as fine as mine, and a better courage. I would write praise poems that might serve as comforts, reminders, or even cautions if needed, to wayward minds and unawakened hearts.
"I would say that there exist a thousand unbreakable links between each of us and everything else, and that our dignity and our changes are one. The farthest star and the mud at our feet are a family; and there is no decency or sense in honoring one thing, or a few things, and then closing the list. The pine tree, the leopard, the Platte River, and ourselves – we are at risk together, or we are on our way to a sustainable world together. We are each other's destiny.
"I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple."