PERSPECTIVErnMan, Man, and Again Manrnby Thomas Flemingrn”Qualis aitifex pereo’rn-NerornIcannot remember a time when I was not what would berncalled an environmentalist. I spent much of my childhoodrnon an earth unconstricted by concrete streets and unburdenedrnby the weight of buildings. I was never happier than when I wasrnout fishing with my father or picking berries with my sister, orrnhelping friends with their traps. Until we moved nearrnCharleston, I had never seen a city that did not deface thernlandscape, and to this day I prefer, when I am traveling, tornspend my time in the countryside.rnThis is not to say that I am necessarily a misanthropist, atrnleast not for this reason. Actual wilderness is something to reservernfor rare occasions: the experience of wilderness is as brutalrnand depersonalizing as falling in love, while our everydayrncontacts with the cultivated parts of the natural world seemrnmore like marriage or friendship. Robinson Jeffers sometimesrnwrote as if he preferred hawks to human beings, and when herncomplained of all the people moving to Big Sur, his wife suggestedrnthat they move to Alaska. Jeffers replied that landscape,rnuntouched by humanity, was without interest.rnThere are places in the world where man, working over therngenerations, has sculpted landscapes that serve his needs, hisrndesperate need for beauty as well as his need for food. Therernare parts of Umbria and Southern England that prove thatrnEden, where the first man and woman were put “to dress it andrnto keep it” in perfect happiness, is no myth, or rather one ofrnthose myths that define us as human beings. The remarkablernFrederick Turner once explained to me that tourist traps likernStrcsa and the Borromean Islands, with their carefully cultivatedrnair of antique fishing villages, have acquired a secondaryrnkind of naturalness as the generations go by. If it is true thatrnman’s nature is art, then it is hardly worth the effort to distinguishrnbetween them. The most beautiful landscapes are thernpoints at which man, through his art, has expressed the purposernfor which he was put here; “Be fruitful and multiply and replenishrnthe earth and subdue it.”rnThe cultivation of gardens—the hedging and terracing, thernwalling and diking—can go on even in cities. I know a philosopherrnin Atlanta who devotes his free time to building stonernwalls that turn the slopes of his “undesirable” backyard into arnTuscan half-acre of garden. London, despite the hideousnessrnof the housing flats and the tedium of its mock-Manhattanrnskyscrapers, is still a city of parks and gardens, where a bit of therncountryside can be enclosed within the iron gates of a quietrnsquare. Ancient cities, no matter how great, were never completelyrndetached from the countryside, and Babylon was famousrnfor its gardens. Babylon also (so it would seem) inspiredrnlO/CHRONICLESrnrnrn