Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with the Land

Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with the Land
Jamie K. Reaser and Susan Chernak McElroy (editors)

Do you remember the first time you feel in love? Within these pages you will find love stories, rapturous love affairs with the land, shameless seductions, betrothals, vows exchanged, marriages of the soul, heartaches, partings, healings, and renewals. The authors are the courters and the courted . . . Their landscape paramours embrace them and they grow forth from within.

Praise for Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with the Land

“This is how we make the best environmentalists-by teaching people to fall in love with their places. For it is the love of place that inspires the deepest and most sustainable actions on behalf of the earth. I highly recommend this passionate and engaging love story.” —Jed Swift, M.A., Director, Ecopsychology Program, Naropa University, Boulder, CO.

“A stirring book…filled with transcendent and highly personal moments of revelation, of awe, reverence and love for nature… the profound truth and magic of becoming one with life on Earth. This is a book for anyone anywhere…from the camper’s backpack to bedside tables.”  —Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, Director, The Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, Washington, DC.

Like many ecologists, I had a love affair with nature (especially with butterflies) long before I became a scientist.  The love affairs described here will either tell you what I mean, or remind you of your own affair.  Either way, you’ll enjoy them.”  —Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, co-author of The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment.

“An inspiring book that brings back the best memories of first love. The book re-awakened me to all the wild things and places thatamidst long ‘to do’ listsI don’t have time to directly experience anymore, and it made me want to reclaim them as part of my life. The essays are a testament to the fact that we all need to return to the roots of our first love and renew our love affair with Nature.”  —Dr. Gabriela Chavarria, Natural Resources Defense Council

“Biophilia—love of the more-than-human world—is our birthright, as natural as the bonding between mother and child. Earth is indeed the maternal matrix from which we and all other creatures emerge. But the wild world also beckons us in the manner of a lover, and as a teacher of sustainable and reverent living, and as our surest initiator into the mysteries of soul. In this captivating volume, Jamie K. Reaser and Susan Chernak McElroy have assembled an exceptional collection of sensuous and wonder-filled tales and practices to further rouse and spark our own “love affairs with the land.” —Dr. Bill Plotkin, author of Soulcraft and Nature and the Human Soul.

“The ‘Millennial Generation,’ larger in size than even the Baby Boomers, is inside and plugged-in, raising the specter that America could lose a generation of outdoor enthusiasts.  We’re at risk of losing our collective inner voices, diminished, but crying out the psychological, physiological, and spiritual call of nature.  Courting the Wild surfaces and gathers elegantly the passionate enunciations of everyday people with cathartic personal realizations that OUT there is, inextricably and rewardingly, IN all of us.”  —Mickey Freeman, Chief Operating Officer, Outward Bound, Inc.

“Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with the Land gives voice to the passion and need so many of us have inside for the natural world around us. These needs are physicalclean air, clean water, nutritious foodbut also emotional and psychologicalan inner well-being that links us to the greater whole. This collection of stories articulates the many reasons why I work in the environmental field and provides me with fodder to inspire my children and my students to become leaders in taking care of this amazing world in which we live.” —Dr. Laura Meyerson, Assistant Professor, University of Rhode Island

“Full of bustle and busy-ness, today’s ‘modern’ societies leave people roaming from cafe to club to computer in search of love.  Courting the Wild reminds us that love is available to each of us, every day, in our natural surroundingsthe ancient, innate, and healing love experienced through re-connecting with nature.  The book’s blissful accounts illustrate how for each of us, there is a natural place where we can go to escape the stressful noise of our go, go, go, societyto find the quiet that we need to hear the guiding voice of our heart whispering into our soul what direction to take next.” —Dr. Jon Gelbard, Executive Director, Conservation Value Institute and National Sustainability Producer, Green Apple Festival.