Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth

Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth

Writing a book takes a long time.  And then publishing it takes a little bit (i.e. a lot) longer.  But it’s worth the effort and the wait, I think, to have something tangible that says what you want it to say that you can hold in your hands and give to others.  It’s fair to say that yes, it does require using trees to print the books, but when your publisher is committed to ecological stewardship, that helps.  It also helps when your publisher is committed to putting forth publications that are meant to be returned to again and again, not thrown away after a quick read.  And when they donate a portion of all profits to a different charity every year.  Add the mission that the mainstream is not the only stream, and you have a pretty stellar combination.  Continue reading “Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth”

Why To Embrace Wildness

Why To Embrace Wildness

Henry David Thoreau once wrote the words, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Though Thoreau lived in his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond many years ago, those words hold a deep truth. Wildness can mean so many different things to so many different people, but whatever it means to myriad humans across the globe, I have found embracing wildness to provide healing, inspiration, introspection and reason to explore. I have found wildness to be a foundation from which to do my work in the world, and I have found wildness to drive my choices as I tap into the potential of life on this beautiful earth. I have found wildness reason to cultivate community and exist in the world in a way that aligns with beauty and truth.

Here are 10 more reasons to embrace wildness, in all its forms, in the months to come. Because you just never know how making some little changes to your way of being might contribute to the healing of the planet. Continue reading “Why To Embrace Wildness”

Lessons of Autumn

Lessons of Autumn

Here we are once again.  It’s fall in the Midwest, and the weather is changing.  The leaves of the maple trees out back are at their peak of orange and yellow vibrancy, and the backyard seems to glow with a quality of light that is unique to this time of year.  As I walk down the steps to the lake, leaves crunch under my feet and the air feels cooler than it has in months.  We still haven’t had a hard freeze, which is unusual and perhaps yet another sign of a climate that is getting increasingly unpredictable.  But regardless the mild weather, the earth is sloughing off her summer skin and slowing down in preparation for what is to come.  Winter’s cloak of stillness will be here soon enough.

Though the seasons change every year, sometimes it’s easy to forget the lessons we can glean from this age old rhythm of the planet.  Each season has its wisdom, and autumn is no exception.  There are lessons to be learned if we let the earth teach. Continue reading “Lessons of Autumn”

To Dance With Mountains

To Dance With Mountains

What would it look like to dance with a mountain? To be so attuned to the natural world that you could two step or swing dance with an ancient pile of rock and earth?  To live so fully in your own wild nature that you could communicate with the world in a way that makes the sky weep in understanding and the plains shiver with anticipation of what is possible when life chooses harmony over dissonance?  To figure out how to identify the part of ourselves that is akin to rivers and hilltops and soil and trees and holding that as our center point? Continue reading “To Dance With Mountains”

A Summer Day

A Summer Day

Wake up to bird song, or waves or whispering pines.  Open your eyes to the dawning of a new day, and wander toward voices when you are ready for company of the community.

Stretch your body, swim, kayak, run, hike.  Let your body move how it wants to move as the light starts to fill the sky.  Remember that you are a body and your body is you – you are partners in this life, not enemies. Continue reading “A Summer Day”

Mother Superior

Mother Superior

Though its waters are fresh and crystal, Superior is a sea. It breeds storms and rains and fogs, like a sea. It is cold in mid-summer as the Atlantic. It is wild, and masterful. — George Grant, 1872

Lake Superior makes her home on the earth about 120 miles northeast of my little red house in the St. Croix River Valley.  She’s vast, cold and clear, and without a bit of time spent on her shores regularly I get a little twitchy.  There’s something about the volume of deep fresh water that can refresh even the weariest of souls and balance whatever needs balancing.  After a few days sleeping next to the big lake, I usually feel like I’ve been filled up with nourishment and topped off with vitality and peace.  Conditions can be bright, sunny, and calm enough to see down into the cool blue depths as the water tempts the hardiest of us to wade until our legs go numb; or, as is usually the case, it can be damp, foggy, and chilly enough for wool sweaters as waves crash against the rocky shore.  She’s a lake of many moods, but regardless of where her mood falls on a particular day or season, she’s a healer as much as she’s an enchantress. Continue reading “Mother Superior”

Twin Organics: Cultivating Wildness

Twin Organics: Cultivating Wildness

Prairie Grown

Eva, my four year old, and I took a little field trip last week 50 miles to the south of our home in the St. Croix River Valley to my family’s other organic farm.  Twin Organics is located just outside River Falls, Wisconsin and is owned and operated by my twin brothers, Jacob and Andrew Helling.  Jacob and Andrew were instrumental in helping Hillside Prairie Gardens resume larger growing practices in 2010 and are now branching out to their own place to grow organic veggies for restaurants in the Twin Cities area.  They’ve rented 5 acres these last two years on what used to be a grass fed cattle operation, and they share space with a group of jovial Kenyan farmers wielding hand tools to the north and Clover Bee Farm, an organic CSA and market grower, to the east.   They won’t stay here forever, but for now, it’s the home of Twin…

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