A Visit to France
We drove through a section of Lorian River Valley. So excellent to see the French nation valves its water, soil, forests, and farms. Hundreds of miles of green for as far as we could see. Also the French continue a centuries-old tradition of replanting forests. We toured through areas of mixed evergreen and deciduous trees. Both of us felt a delicious sensation of fresh verdant regrowth and “forest bathing.”
Conservation has been France’s national mandate for ages. I now understand why kings attested pochers. Not that the unlanded should not hunt or eat, but royalty were expected to plan and maintain wild areas for deer, rabbits, ducks, and fish. Up until the first French Revolution, the commen people depended on paid work from royalty and for their labor as land stewards.
Only a few individuals received training in the skilled trades. Historically, only the rare child or youth received an apprenticeship from an experienced father or mother. Tradespeople often guarded their secrets and techniques and would teach one son or a daughter. Occasionally, a blacksmith, carpenter, draftsman, architect, lawyer, seamstress, herbalist, or fine arts portraitist would select an unrelated child with talent to carry on his or her business.
“The real wealth of the Nation,” marine biologist and author Rachel Carson wrote in her courageous 1953 protest letter, “lies in the resources of the earth — soil, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife… Their administration is not properly, and cannot be, a matter of politics.”
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