This is an excerpt from Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth, available now wherever books are sold.
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”
A recent conversation I had with a colleague, after sharing the three books I’d just read, went something like this: “Why have you been reading so much about death?” I remember looking out over the St. Croix River as the sun went down, and saying something like, “Because I need to know it’s possible to … Continue reading Laying it Down
To be fair, sometimes I run, which has its own merits and joys and reasons, some of which are the same as walking in the woods. But when I slow down to a walk, when I take the time to really notice what’s going on, things come to light that wouldn’t otherwise. Here are some … Continue reading Why I Walk in the Woods
The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it. If a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore; if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water; if a forest is a sacred grove, not timber; if other species are biological kin, not resources; … Continue reading Earth Day in a New Story
A few months ago I sat down with Iris, founder of The Nabalo Lifestyle, for an interview that appeared in their most recent online magazine.
You can download the full publication of Issue Three: The Mystic (and the back issues) here: The Nabalo Lifestyle Magazine
Iris: Can you tell us a little bit more about the beautiful place that you call home?
Heidi: My family and I (myself, my spouse, and our six year old) make our home in the St. Croix River Valley, just to the west of the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin in the United States. It’s a landscape full of lakes, rivers, bluffs, ancient glacial potholes, small towns, organic farms, and plenty of winding trails to explore all of it. We live in a little red house perched on the edge of a ravine on the shores of a tiny lake, with a large field just up the hill from the house that provides space for a large vegetable garden, several types of berry bushes, and an apple tree. It’s all imperfect and takes a lot of work to maintain, but I love it here. Continue reading “The Mystic: An Interview with Nabalo”
A few months ago, I sat down with my nature-connection colleague Sean Guinan of the Environmental Pediatrics Institute to chat about “rewilding childhood.” It’s a concept that we could all do well to embrace as our use of technology expands and our children are born into a world that is vastly different from the one that greeted us. I’m in that weird “fringe” or “micro” generation, the one that includes anybody born from about 1977 through 1983. When I was in high school, my friend Jena helped me come up with my first email address. There was a class called “keyboarding,” and the computers were huge machines that took up entire desks. We did research using encyclopedias, and there were limits to how many “web” resources you could use when writing a paper. I had a cell phone in college but almost never used it since it was so expensive, and I turned in my senior paper …. on paper, and it got returned marked up in red ink. Social media was not a thing until I was well out of college, though Instant messaging had started to permeate the campus the last few years of my undergraduate days. In short, I remember what it was like to live in the analog world, and digital technology took on a ‘life of its own’ at about the same time I did. Those who share my generation, or those who were born in generations prior might resonate with the following:
If you grew up in the 1980s or before, it’s likely you spent much of your free time during childhood running around outside, making forts, chasing butterflies, or just kicking around with the neighborhood kids. You didn’t have a cell phone and the video game options were limited. Going outside was the best option. ~Wild Child: Rewilding Childhood
Continue reading “Rewilding Childhood”
Where do I come from? I come from green grass and big bluestem, mountain streams and old log cabins, winding rivers, and geese that fly south and return again year after year. I come from creatures who breathe and swim and dance and sleep and howl in the midst of old evergreens and oak savannas … Continue reading Where I Come From