This is an extraordinary book by one of America's most elegant writers. It is a veritable treasure trove of wisdom served up with love, imaginative verve, and spiritual sensitivity. Scott Russell Sanders, a father of two and a teacher, presents his reasons for being hopeful about the future. Instead of a grand synthesis, he offers an engaging series of "memories, images, hunches, and tales, all drawn from the muddle of ordinary life."

What are his sources of hope? Sanders salutes wildness and all the present-day efforts to preserve and restore rugged places. He also relishes the body bright with its resiliency; the family as a training ground for life in community; fidelity as "keeping faith with anyone or anything that claims your love"; skill, the capacity for making and fixing things; simplicity; the rigors and rewards of a gathered and deliberate life; and beauty as the radiance we apprehend in the world.

Best of all, Sanders hurrahs the divinity pulsating in and through people, places, animals, and things as another source of hope. "If we are going to be lifted up by hope, we must feel it in our guts, through and through, the way we feel the smack of beauty or hunger or love. I cannot look on this magnificent Creation, cannot read the story of the unfolding universe, without feeling a surge of gratitude and expectation." Here is the perfect gift to give new parents or to ardent youth who yearn for reasons to keep on keeping on.