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excerpt Marginalia
from "Preserving Wildness" (1985), by Wendell Berry, collected in Home Economics: Fourteen Essays, 1987

Looking at the monocultures of industrial civilization, we yearn with a kind of homesickness for the humanness and the naturalness of a highly diversified, multipurpose landscape, democratically divided, with many margins. The margins are of the utmost importance. They are the divisions between holdings, as well as between kinds of work and kinds of land. These margins—lanes, streamsides, wooded fencerows, and the like—are always freeholds of wildness, where limits are set on human intention. Such places are hospitable to the wild lives of plants and animals and the wild play of human children. They enact, within the bounds of human domesticity itself, a human courtesy towards the world that is one of the best safeguards of designated tracts of true wilderness.