Even as a child I read science fiction and fantasy over any other genre. I've always been attracted to the the sheer adventure of stories of space flight, parallel universes and worlds where magic instead of physics ruled. It's seems a contradiction then, that I ended up being a geologist by training and an environmentalist by choice. Pondering this ( I find I do a lot of pondering since I turned 50) leads me back to one author and one book in particular that was responsible for keeping me rooted to the earth.
The author was Jean Craighead George and the book was My Side of the Mountain. Long before I read Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING or took a science course there was this story of a boy named Sam who ran away from New York City to live in a tree in the Catskills. And though I've read and enjoyed many of George's books it was this one story, read to me by my 3rd grade teacher, that sparked a life long passion for this earth, our environment and our need to find an equitable balance within it.
Phooey, told you I've been doing a lot of pondering, I should just leave the words to the experts, like Jean Craighead George or.... JONI MITCHELL! (Covered well by Sarah Mclachlan and friends.)