W.H. Auden once said, "A culture is no better than its woods." But we live far away from the woods. We have never seen the Haunted Pass or the Black Pools. We pushed the woods back to manicured patches on highway medians, to well-shorn hedges in the suburbs, to the lonely corners of our soul. Like them, we are trimmed and groomed and pleasant to smell. And our refined sensibilities are offended when we meet Romulus and Remus, brothers raised by wolves.

But they have something we do not. A danger. A life-giving wildness found only in the woods. And it takes this feral soul to create something great - like Rome. But what happens to the culture with no woods? It builds privacy fences. It has civility and manners. Control. But it lacks the danger and initiation rites necessary for boys to leave Mom and make for the hills, stare down Something Awful, and then bring their wildness back to the greater community. (excerpt from Heroic Path)