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By Edward O. Wilson

"*Biophilia* is Edward O. Wilson's so much own publication, an evocation of his personal reaction to nature and an eloquent assertion of the conservation ethic. Wilson argues that our typical affinity for life–biophilia–is the very essence of our humanity and binds us to all different residing things.

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Crickets and the sound of kids playing through the open window as we eat: meatloaf and mashed potatoes; homemade cinnamon buns for dessert. We swallow our food as quickly as we can, without being too obvious about it. The long prairie 52 summer twilight calls out to us. There are so many things to do, like complex versions of hide and seek or Mother May I, or just sitting in the back alley and making plans for the next day as the lavender coolness of night slowly descends and the moms start calling the children home.

I busied myself with the other ingredients: onions, garlic, artichoke hearts, fresh basil and parsley. I put spaghetti on the boil. We cooked up that sauce in no time, and Claire’s Gallic temperament prevailed. She moved fluidly from sadness to anger to hilarity as I stirred the sauce and refilled her glass. Her hands were eloquent, waving back and forth as she described their final argument and all the passionate, brilliant things she’d said, or at least wished she had said. The sauce, which should simmer about half an hour, filled the room with its tart, jammy perfume.

The soups I make are solidly built, like my no-fail minestrone with its thick base of onion, garlic, olive oil, vegetable broth, and puréed tomato, its crowding together of beans, potatoes, eggplant, celery, and carrots, its generous sprinkling of Romano cheese. My squash soup is similarly no lightweight: one chopped, sautéed onion, an entire head of roasted garlic, and two or more cups of chicken broth combined with one roasted squash’s orange purée, along with a half cup of yogurt or the juice of half a lemon, added at the last minute.

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