Without a map, navigate by the stars. Susan Tweit began learning this lesson as a young woman diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that was predicted to take her life in two to five years. Offered no clear direction for getting well through conventional medicine, Tweit turned to the natural world that was both her solace and her field of study as a plant ecologist. Drawing intuitive connections between the natural processes and cycles she observed and the functions of her body, Tweit not only learned healthier ways of living but also discovered a great truth—love can heal. In this beautifully written, moving memoir, she describes how love of the natural world, of her husband and family, and of life itself literally transformed and saved her own life. In tracing the arc of her life from young womanhood to middle age, Tweit tells stories about what silence and sagebrush, bird bones and sheep dogs, comets, death, and one crazy Englishman have to teach us about living. She celebrates making healthy choices, the inner voices she learned to hear on days alone in the wilderness, the joys of growing and eating an organic kitchen garden, and the surprising redemption in restoring a once-blighted neighborhood creek. Linking her life lessons to the stories she learned in childhood about the constellations, Tweit shows how qualities such as courage, compassion, and inspiration draw us together and bind us into the community of the land and of all living things.
From the bestselling authority on connecting children with nature, a one-of-a-kind guide chock-full of practical ideas, advice and inspiration for creating a nature-rich life - for kids and grown-ups. In his groundbreaking international bestseller Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv spotlighted the alienation of children from the natural world, coining the term 'nature-deficit disorder'. Vitamin N is the comprehensive practical handbook, a complete prescription for enjoying the natural world. Includes: Five hundred activities Scores of informational websites An abundance of down-to-earth advice Dozens of thought-provoking essays. Unlike other guidebooks, Vitamin N (for 'nature') addresses the whole family and the wider community, encouraging parents eager to share nature with their kids. It is a dose of pure inspiration, reminding us that looking up at the stars or taking a walk in the woods is as joyful as it is essential, at any age.
Our landscapes push aside wildlife and in turn diminish our genetically-programmed love for wildness. How can we get ourselves back into balance through gardens, to speak life's language and learn from other species? Plenty of books tell home gardeners and professional landscape designers how to garden sustainably, what plants to use, and what resources to explore. Yet few examine why our urban wildlife gardens matter, and not just for ourselves, but for the larger human and animal communities. Author Benjamin Vogt addresses why we need a new garden ethic, and why we urgently need wildness in our daily lives, lives sequestered in buildings surrounded by monocultures of lawn and concrete that significantly harm our physical and mental health. He examines the psychological issues around climate change and mass extinction as a way to understand how we are short circuiting our response to global crises, especially by not growing native plants in our gardens. Simply put, environmentalism is not political, it's social justice for all species marginalized today and for those facing extinction tomorrow. By thinking deeply and honestly about our built landscapes, we can create a compassionate activism that connects us more profoundly to nature and to one another. Benjamin Vogt is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over sixty publications. He writes a native plant garden design column at Houzz.com and speaks nationally on sustainable design and wildlife landscapes. He's the owner of Monarch Gardens, a prairie garden design firm, in Eastern Nebraska.
“A fascinating study of the trees, shrubs, and vines that feed the insects, birds, and other animals in the suburban garden.” —The New York Times As development and habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. In Bringing Nature Home, Douglas W. Tallamy reveals the unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. But there is an important and simple step we can all take to help reverse this alarming trend: everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity by simply choosing native plants. By acting on Douglas Tallamy's practical and achievable recommendations, we can all make a difference.
ÒAs long as humans have been around, weÕve had to move in order to survive.Ó So arises that most universal and elemental human longing for home, and so begins Greta GaardÕs exploration of just precisely what it means to be at home in the world. Gaard journeys through the deserts of southern California, through the High Sierras, the Wind River Mountains, and the Northern Cascades, through the wildlands and waterways of Washington and Minnesota, through snow season, rain season, mud season, and lilac season, yet her essays transcend mere description of natural beauty to investigate the interplay between place and identity. Gaard examines the earliest environments of childhood and the relocations of adulthood, expanding the feminist insight that identity is formed through relationships to include relationships to place. ÒHomeÓ becomes not a static noun, but an active verb: the process of cultivating the connections with place and people that shape who we become. Striving to create a sense of home, Gaard involves herself socially, culturally, and ecologically within her communities, discovering that as she works to change her environment, her environment changes her. As Gaard investigates environmental concerns such as water quality, oil spills, or logging, she touches on their parallels to community issues such as racism, classism, and sexism, uncovering the dynamic interaction by which Òhumans, like other life on earth, both shape and are shaped by our environments.Ó While maintaining an understanding of the complex systems and structures that govern communities and environments, GaardÕs writing delves deeper to reveal the experiences and realities we displace through euphemisms or stereotypes, presenting issues such as homelessness or hunger with compelling honesty and sensitivity. GaardÕs essays form a quest narrative, expressing the process of letting go that is an inherent part of an impermanent life. And when a person is broken, in the aftermath of that letting go, it is a place that holds the pieces together. As long as we are forced to moveÑby economics, by war, by colonialismÑthe strategies we possess to make and redefine home are imperative to our survival, and vital in the shaping of our very identities.
This is an authoritative, uncompromising, altogether real guide to spiritual practice. Rohini Ralby spent eight years as head of security, appointments secretary, and personal assistant to the great Swami Muktananda, and in their many hours alone together, this world-renowned guru taught her, one on one, the essence of spiritual practice. In Walking Home with Baba, an expert guide to spiritual practice, Rohini draws on that experience and her subsequent study and work as a spiritual director to convey, in clear and concise terms, what spiritual practice truly is: walking home, and retracing our way back to God -- to Absolute Truth, Absolute Consciousness, and Absolute Bliss. Walking Home with Baba combines intimate stories about Ms Ralbys own experiences with Muktananda and others with chapters explaining the actual work of spiritual practice. She provides tools that she has developed for freeing ourselves from misery. One chapter is perhaps the most masterfully clear and concise companion to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali available today. Readers will learn not only about Ms Ralbys experience of travelling the path and being the close disciple of a great Guru; they will gain practical guidance in walking that path themselves.