Matthew, my youngest son, once asked me if a connection to a higher power is, in fact, an under-utilized sense—one that some people find activated in nature. This is the same son who, when he was five, asked, “Are God and Mother Nature married, or just good friends?” Great questions. Most religious traditions, especially in indigenous cultures, intimately or actively offer ways to discover the divine in the natural world. Some people worship nature. Others consider such worship blasphemous, or detect nothing. Most of us are less direct. Just beyond the veil of rain, we sense a presence for which we have no name.

Since the publication of Last Child in the Woods a decade ago, I’ve been surprised and impressed by the support that many religious leaders of all faiths, and nonbelievers as well—and from very different political persuasions—have offered to the...

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