There is so much I wish for you. I love the days when you work with me in the garden. I love above all your delight in everything, that wriggly worm you held between your fingers, just you kneeling there in the Earth, so full of joy in being alive.
But one day, Katharina, if we do not care for it, this good Earth of ours will be as arid and lifeless as the moon. Have you ever seen a picture of Earth from space It is like a bright blue bead, spinning through the dark. A beacon of life.
But our World is as fragile as you are, as I am, as trees are, as birds are, as plants are.
If I have learnt anything in my long life, it is this. Our Earth is a living breathing being, and we must hurt her no more. We are using her up, fouling the air and the sea, making a dustbin of the land, a sewer of the oceans, a graveyard of her creatures.
So I wish for you, little Katharina, and for all children everywhere, a World, a new World without war or waste, where you and your children will be able to breathe good clean air, drink clear fresh water, grow and eat only what we need, no more, learn to share what we have, so that no one anywhere goes hungry.
I wish no tree ever to be cut down without planting three more in its place. I wish for you a World where, in flying our planes, driving our cars, warming our homes, we do not overheat the World, do not melt the icecaps, raise the oceans, bring flood and fire down upon ourselves.
I wish for you a World where the elephant, the tiger and the orangutan can roam wild, free and safely in their forests and on their plains. I wish for you a World where the polar bear can wander far and wide in his World of ice and snow and where the whale and the dolphin can live the life of the deep undisturbed in clean clear seas.
Those same seas where we have paddled and played so often together. So go on loving, go on planting, and growing and harvesting, live always in rhythm, in harmony with this wonderful earth, and all shall be well. And my dreams and wishes for you will come true.
But all shall be well only if we make it well, Katharina. There is a lot of work to do. A lot of planting. A lot of loving. As I do you.