beneficial relationship with nature — an act of respect thatnbalances the act of assertion and opens up the possibility of anreciprocal and truly ecological relationship with nature.nMost fundamentally, I see restoration as a framework forna system of rituals that will provide the basis for thenreintegration of nature and culture. If this seems farfetched,nconsider how easily restoration adapts to a whole range ofnactivities that are entirely conventional in our society and arenpursued by millions as pastimes. These include huntingn(and gathering, too, of course), gardening, farming, and thenstudy of natural history and environmental history. Peoplendo all of these activities, often in a more or less consciouslynritualized manner, as a way of enriching their relationshipsnwith the land around them. The act of restoration doesnnothing but combine all of them, integrating them into ansingle act aimed at replenishing nature rather than exploitingnit. What restoration offers is a highly conventional way ofnstepping into the ritual dimension, while at the same timenconverting our consumptive activities into constructive ones.nI can give a good example. Deer hunting is a majornindustry here in Wisconsin, and studies have shown thatnmany of those who participate in the hunt each fall regard itnas a ritual affirming family ties and renewing contact withnnature. At the present time, the emphasis is on the harvest ofndeer, and the Department of Natural Resources managesnthe herd for yield. As a result the deer population is muchnlarger now than when the area was settled, and this maynhave been a factor in the virtual elimination of the hemlocknthat once covered vast areas of forest in the northern part ofnthe state.nAssuming that we care about the aboriginal forest, this is ansituation that cleady calls for restoration. This does notnmean we need to outlaw the hunter. Given that a criticalnstep in restoring the forest would be to reduce the size of thendeer herd, hunting can instead be seen as integrallynnecessary. Planned in this way, with the regeneration of thenhemlock forest—rather than the size of the deer harvest—nas the objective, the hunt would become part of a greatnpublic ritual of restoration.nOf course, reducing the herd to revive the hemlocknwould eventually mean a dramatically reduced harvest ofndeer. We would need, then, to further enhance the ritualnaspects of the hunt. A hunter might take one or two deer inna lifetime, renewing and reliving that experience in other,nless literal ways.nFrom the point of view of a society intent on the numbernof deer shot, and largely deprived of a sense of the efficacy ofnritual, this suggestion may seem hopelessly unrealistic.nNevertheless, sportsmen already have a tradition of ritualizingnthe experience of the hunt when this best serves theninterests of conservation. Fishermen in some areas arenincreasingly practicing catch and release. This conserves thenfish by taking at least a step toward ritualizing the experiencenof the catch. Or take hunting with a bow and arrow rathernthan a rifle, a practice that evokes the technology of anothernculture and at the same time dramatically lowers the chancesnof actually killing a deer.nBoth examples show how hunting and fishing can benmoved in the direction of restoration with littie or nonloss — and perhaps even an increase — in the value of thenexperience. <£>n22/CHRONICLESnnnParents Support Groupnby Dick AllennOur children half-lost, we gather at the table,nMaking small polite jokesnAbout weather and coffee. The blinds are drawn.nOutside, the summer afternoon is tennis strokes,nA grackle calling to its mate, wind-chimes,nSliding tailgates of delivery vans. Long-timers smilenAnd pat the new arrivals’ backs. Our therapistnTakes a long, long, long, long, long whilenBefore he starts, reluctantly. That hot potato, Pain,nGoes round and round the table. Who of usnAre blameless, who share blamenFor why our children left a crustnOf blood across their wrists, gulped pills, or thinknTheir terribly thin bodies still are fat.nDid drugs, did drinknBehind ripped billboards of their raw self-hate?nWe don’t know. Weeks … or was it days ago.nSelf-tucked in the illusion we controlnOur lives . . . sane, in our accepting this … we thoughtnThat all stones rollnDownhill, all rabbits leap, the months aheadnAre simply spaces on our calendarsnWhere plans are penciled or not penciled in.nThat’s normal and not wrong . . . But now we’re herenTalking with strangers. To our leftnThe lady in a green dress weeps; the mannWhose daughter must be begged or bribed to eatnKeeps putting up and putting down his hand,nThen polishing his glasses on his paisley tie.nI don’t know what to say. I don’t know anythingnThat can help us all. Words alonen(How many words there were!) have come unstrungnAnd scatter everywhere. Back in their hallsnOur children hunch above their Scrabble board.nOr shoot the breezenAs aimlessly as they shot down our world.n