Lessons of Autumn

This is an excerpt from Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth, available now wherever books are sold.

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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”

Palpable Joy: A November Gratitude Challenge

This post is a slightly modified excerpt of Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth.

It’s Halloween in America.  If you’ve gone into any commercial establishment in the last few weeks, you’ve been bombarded with pumpkins of all sizes and materials, plastic decor of infinite variety, mountains of orange and black wrapped candy, and enough cheap costuming to clothe the entire country for a year.  The holiday season is about to begin in earnest as October gives way to the season of shopping, otherwise known as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Commercialism abounds, we get sucked into the frenzy even if we don’t like to shop, and good deals take our attention from being content with what we already have.  We eat too much too quickly and have more excuses than usual for why we can’t exercise.   For many of us, the holidays mean putting on weight, being stressed out, spending too much money and throwing in the towel until January.   Often times we are multi-tasking, working late to prepare for a few extra days off or packing frantically to visit the in-laws.  We get snippy with our children, our neighbors put up lights that are too bright and we hope the time goes quickly. It doesn’t feel like a time of celebration when culture calls the shots.  We forget to be mindful and live in the present.  Even in this season that’s supposed to be about thanksgiving, we forget to practice gratitude. Continue reading “Palpable Joy: A November Gratitude Challenge”

The Mystic: An Interview with Nabalo

 

 

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”

Rewilding Childhood

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”