When my tender soul was saved dozens of years ago at Circle K camp in the rolling river hills of summertime Pennsylvania, it wasn’t from fear of death or need for unconditional love but for humble credit of another’s craft: the simple lines of a green and pliant pin oak leaf told me I best acknowledge the superior skills of God. The long, rambling, poetic essay Edward Hoagland writes for the May issue of Harper’s magazine isn’t so much nostalgic for an unspoiled natural world — Hoagland’s old; he’s written 20 books, contributed to Harper’s since the 70s and achieved that many years — as prophetic: God’s Green Earth is receding; that means something bad for not only human existence but for human spirit. Of course Hoagland’s thankfully too smart to assess spirits; he’s refreshingly more interested in accounting. In the midst of auditing natural beauty and wonder — from Route 66 to African wildlife reserves, from aphids to elephants — he gives us a rundown of what nature’s lost in the past handful of decades, his decades. And he webs those natural losses to a larger consideration, particularly on the minds of those wrinkled, accustomed to grief, and weak in the knee: What does this loss of nature mean?