…a healthy relationship between humans and nature is a symbiotic one. We cannot live without nature, but we also cannot live without altering it. Whether we do so with understanding and wisdom or with brute force and in ignorance is the more pertinent matter.

This is the great challenge of our generation: to understand that there may be no “pristine” to go back to, and to foster a relationship with the living world that includes mutual support and healing.


I came across Studio Ghibli’s Only Yesterday (titledOmohide Poro Poro in Japan) at a time of transition in my life. Having just having graduated from school and secured a job in my field, I had hoped that the path forward was secure, certain. The hours were nice and the pay was good, but as time went on I felt a growing dissatisfaction I could not dismiss but could not articulate. Catching the film by chance on television one late night, I connected with the protagonist’s own yearning for something more in life. This resonance spanned the gulf between gender, culture, and life experience; her fictional journey of self-discovery inspired me to reflect honestly on my own life. How does the past shape my present identity? Am I satisfied with the course of my life? Am I courageous enough to pursue what makes me genuinely happy?


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