Child of mine
come as you grow
in youth you will learn the secret places
the cave behind the waterfall
the arms of the oak that hold you high
the stars so near on a desert ledge
the important places
and as with age you choose your own way
among the many faces of a busy world
may you always remember the path that leads back
back to the important places.

— Dad for Forest, 1986

This short poem inspired the excellent short film above. It’s a poignant re-telling of how the poem inspired a return trip, and it highlights the role that our public lands play in our collective lives. Of how those shared experiences—even ones separated by decades—can help make us feel at home and connected to the ones we care most about. Our important places help us create, and later relive, our cherished memories.

If you haven’t made it back to the important places of your life recently, maybe it’s time to change that.