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Inside the Cover - Pledge to the Wind

Inside the Cover: Pledge to the Wind

In Pledge to the Wind, Peter and Donna Thomas reflect on Everett Ruess’ poem of the same name and the beauty of the Sierra Nevada. Everett Ruess was an artist, poet, and writer known for his exploration of the High Sierra, California coast, and deserts of the American Southwest. [1]

"Pledge to the Wind

Onward from vast uncharted spaces,
Forward through the timeless voids,
Into all of us surges and races
The measureless might of the wind.

Strongly sweeping from open plains
Keen and pure from mountain heights,
Freshly blowing after rains,
It welds itself into our souls.

In the steep silence of thin blue air,
High on a lonely cliff-ledge,
Where the air has a clear, clean rarity,
I give the wind…my pledge.

By the strength of my arm, by the sight of my eyes,
By the skill of my fingers I swear,
As long as life dwells in me, never will I
Follow any way but the sweeping way of the wind.

Here in the utter stillness
High on a lonely cliff-ledge
Where the air is trembling with lighting.
I have given the wind my pledge

-Everett Reuss"


The Thomas's include in their book reflections by other authors on Everett. The above image quotes Wallace Stegner,

"What Everett was after was Beauty, and he conceived beauty in pretty romantic terms. We might be inclined to laugh at the extravagance of his beauty-worship if there were something almost magnificent in his single-minded dedication to it. Esthetics as a parlor affectation is ludicrous and sometimes a little obscene, as a way of life it sometimes attains dignity. If we laugh at Everett Ruess we shall have to laugh at John Muir, because there was little difference between them except age.


Using watercolor, calligraphy, deerskin, and squirrel skin, the Thomases hearken to the love Reuss felt for nature. The magnificence Reuss felt can be felt in each page of this book.

"As long as life dwells in me, never will I
Follow any way but the sweeping way of the wind."

While traveling through a remote area of Utah, Everett Ruess disappeared. To this day, no one knows for certain what happened to him. [2] His art, writings, and disappearance have been inspiration for many. For the Thomases, it appears his feelings about nature were the inspiration for this beautiful book.



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