I haven’t been conscious before of how invariably when I have sensed or imagined the life of another creature, a tree or bird or animal, I have had to begin by imagining my own absence—as though there was a necessary competition between my life and theirs. I looked upon my ability to imagine myself absent as a virtue. It seems to me now that it was an evasion. I began this morning to feel something truer—the beginning of the knowledge that the other creatures and I are here together.

Wendell Berry, A Continuous Harmony