I think of the children who will never know, intuitively, that a flower is a plant’s way of making love, or what silence sounds like, or that trees breathe out what we breathe in.
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Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen works of nonfiction, poetry, and children’s literature, including A Natural History of the Senses and The Zookeeper’s Wife, which is being adapted into a film. She also has a molecule named after her: dianeackerone, a sex pheromone in crocodiles. She lives in Ithaca, New York.
We need to send into space a flurry of artists and naturalists, photographers and painters, who will turn the mirror upon ourselves and show us Earth as a single planet, a single organism that’s buoyant, fragile, blooming, buzzing, full of spectacles, full of fascinating human beings, something to cherish. Learning our full address may not end all wars, but it will enrich our sense of wonder and pride.