The Salmon in the Spring

I am pleased to announce the completion of Hiraeth Press’ most ambitious project to date: The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality by Jason Kirkey. The book is now in print and available for order at your favorite online retailer or at JasonKirkey.com for $17.95 + shipping.

Here at the end of the Cenozoic Era with the life systems withering away, a surprising creativity appears, a kind of mystical balancing act. The world’s spiritual traditions are entering into deeply engaged conversations through which the riches of each are ignited in new ways. With The Salmon in the Spring, Jason Kirkey has boldly carved out his place in this exciting work with his original interpretations of the concepts and stories of ancient Ireland . . . Kirkey’s vision speaks directly to our present ecological challenge. Rejecting those nature-denying forms of spirituality that have been used too easily to justify our domestication of the planet, The Salmon in the Spring announces its thrilling spiritual foundation: “Our wild nature is our soul.” —Brian Swimme, California Institute of Integral Studies

Author Tom Cowan Reviews Salmon in the Spring

The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality

Recently Tom Cowan, author of Fire in the Head and Yearning for the Wind, review Jason Kirkey’s award-winning book: The Salmon in the Spring.

 

“When I look into a pool of water, especially one that eddies in a larger flow from some hidden source and eventually drifts on to an unknown destination, I sometimes think I see strange beings floating, diving, surfacing there.  Some of the strange beings I recognize from other streams and springs, rivers and ponds. I have stared into a lot of water. I have sat at the edge of water, waiting for inspiration and wisdom, as have other poets, hermits, mystics, and seekers drawn to the betwixting places where land, water, and sky meet. So I peer into the depths and there I am—one of the strange beings who are both there and not there. I see clouds that are simultaneously above my head and floating far deeper in the dark current than my reflection.  I consider where I am, and contemplate my life as an exile.  I am a hill-walker, a river-seeker, a way-finder looking for places where I feel native.  And I have found some.  I am blessed with hills, rivers, and ways that nurture my sense of belonging.

“Sometimes the right book will do this too. Jason Kirkey’s The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality is as indispensable as a woodland stream.  In it Kirkey explores his need to know his mind and his soul in the context of land and stories. He understands the troubled perspective and longing of a modern man exiled from the mythic and ecological traditions that nurtured his ancestors.  In The Salmon in the Spring he relates his fascinating search to reconnect with these traditions in ways that are authentic and relevant to the spiritual and environmental needs of today. It is a search that ends and doesn’t end. As he says about druidry, “To be a druid is to be an active work-in-progress,” for in every age the archetypal druid seeks embodiment. He asks, “What does the druid spirit want to become (today)?”  As Kirkey points out, druidry is ever-shifting and reshaping.  Whatever it is we don’t know about the “original” druids who lived a couple thousand years ago, and it’s a lot, we can be certain they were men and women responding to that same archetypal yearning to come into existence.  And so today if we listen to the stories and the places of the Celtic people, and find ways to participate in them, we can be contemporary manifestations of the Celtic and druidic spirit that nurtured our ancestors’ sense of belonging, and gave them a place to be and be from.

“Jason is a poet. I’ve treasured his inspiring books of poetry in which he extols the wildness and beauty of land and psyche:  themes that are woven throughout The Salmon in the Spring.  In fact, the eco-psychology that informs his retelling of Celtic tales and concepts is what makes this book so remarkable and valuable.  As I read it, I sense that the Celtic spirit—that has been expressed in so many ways over so many centuries and in so many countries—has been waiting for Jason to come along to weave the important myths, places, and understandings of that spirit into the ecological and spiritual perspectives for our day. And in the nick of time. Our psychological and spiritual health is dependent on our relationship with the environment.  Yet in today’s world we are drawn farther and farther from the natural environment into a virtual environment that deadens our natural senses and their ability to receive the wisdom from the Pool of Jason’s title, where the nuts of wisdom fall and the salmon of wisdom feed, continually recharging the Waters of Life on which we as a species depend.

“Readers familiar with Celtic traditions such as the Wheel of Sovereignty, the Four Airts, the Three Cauldrons of the Soul, the many-layered, linguistic heritage of Dana-the Great Mother, the mythic markings on the Wheel of the Year and its festivals, the Cailleach, the Oran Mor, the concept of Truth, the Fomorian and Danann conflicts, and many other elements of Celtic lore will find them re-examined in a bold new light.   Kirkey invites us to develop what he calls “silver branch perception,” a way of being in the world that moves us into a place where we can re-imagine ourselves as a species.  This poetic-mystical perception transcends the one-eyed Fomorian way of seeing only the physical world, and encourages us to look beyond even the two-eyed, double-reality vision of the Dananns that sees both this physical world and the luminous Otherworld as two distinct realms. The silver branch perception is that truly enlightened ability to recognize the oneness of all worlds, to transcend the dualism that may satisfy the mind but of which the soul is ignorant.  As Jason says, “It (soul) brings us to the place where the mountain and myself are one because we are expressions of the same wildness, the same phenomenal universe rising from divine ground.”

“The Salmon in the Spring is enriched with Kirkey’s personal encounters from his travels in Ireland, from his experiences at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, from his study and practice of various spiritualities, and from those nights of ecstasy and deep despair when, as he relates about one of them, he tried doing sit-ups to shake himself out of it, which didn’t work, then ended up staring out the kitchen window until “something so much greater than myself” knocked him on the floor, and finally the music of the Great Song, disguised as the March wind, lulled him to sleep.  “To my surprise I awoke still feeling new, as if I had just been born into the world again. It was spring outside, and inside it was spring too.”

“We must return to the wild in nature and ourselves, to those winds that can knock us on the floor.The Salmon in the Spring is a vital trail-map for doing that by a writer who knows what he is talking about and how to make what he talks about sing.  Going into the woods, as Jason notes, is the same as going into a folktale or going into the elements of the Celtic spiritual tradition—all are places of wildness, beauty, and self-discovery.  “Don’t be surprised,” he warns, “if you hear the bushes singing; if you hear behind you, quiet footsteps or the sweetest of songs.  The folktales are stalking you and the silver branch is singing.”

“This book is like its namesake.  It is a salmon in the spring.  Or perhaps it is the Salmon of Wisdom that the old druid Finnegas hoped to catch from the River Boyne. For seven years he waited, yearning to see it and catch it. Then finally, finally he did!  The Salmon in the Spring is that salmon. Don’t miss it, don’t watch it swim past.  Catch it!”

[box] Tom Cowan is a shamanic practitioner specializing in Celtic visionary and healing techniques. He combines universal core shamanism with traditional European spirit lore to create spiritual practices that can heal and enrich one’s own life and the lives of others. He is an internationally respected teacher, author, lecturer, and tour leader. He has taught training programs in England, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy; and most recently he was the first American shaman to teach in Slovakia. Tom is the author of Yearning For The Wind, Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life, The Pocket Guide to Shamanism, The Book of Seance, The Way of the Saints: Prayers, Practices, and Meditations and Wending Your Way: A New Version of the Old English Rune Poem.[/box]

 

 

 

The Salmon in the Spring

The Salmon in the Spring
The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality

Jason Kirkey, with a foreword by Frank MacEowen
296 pages, 6×9 Paperback
978-0-9799246-6-8
$17.95

Winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards
Silver Medal in Mind-Body-Spirit

[wp_cart:The Salmon in the Spring:price:17.95:end]

Read an Excerpt

Soul and Nature—the inner and outer landscape—are one: they are the wildness of the world and the wildness of the self.  To alienate ourselves from one is to alienate ourselves from the Other.

Praise for The Salmon in the Spring

“Here at the end of the Cenozoic Era with the life systems withering away, a surprising creativity appears, a kind of mystical balancing act.  The world’s spiritual traditions are entering into deeply engaged conversations through which the riches of each are ignited in new ways.  With The Salmon in the Spring, Jason Kirkey has boldly carved out his place in this exciting work with his original interpretations of the concepts and stories of ancient Ireland . . . Kirkey’s vision speaks directly to our present ecological challenge.  Rejecting those nature-denying forms of spirituality that have been used too easily to justify our domestication of the planet, The Salmon in the Spring announces its thrilling spiritual foundation:  “Our wild nature is our soul.” —Brian Swimme, California Institute of Integral Studies

The Salmon in the Spring is a bold book.  It is bold because it—no less so than its author—isn’t content to rest back on its philosophical laurels and ponder by-gone eras.  To the contrary, Kirkey and The Salmon in the Spring invite and initiate the reader into a deep dive within the interior space of the Celtic mystic, but in archetypal and pragmatic ways that make an important contribution to the domain of ecopsychology today.” —Frank MacEowen, author of The Mist-Filled Path, The Spiral of Memory and Belonging, and The Celtic Way of Seeing

The Salmon in the Spring presents a new perspective on Irish myth, interpreting traditional tales through the lens of ecopsychology and Buddhist insight. Kirkey’s readings are clear, compassionate, and respectful of the tradition while at the same time offering relevant openings for a global interest in Celtic spiritualities and their potential as a source for ecological healing in a time of great crisis. With exemplary honesty about his sources and inspirations, Kirkey weaves a poetic and poignant argument for the necessity of reexamining Western mythic models as we search for balance in a swiftly changing biosphere. —Erynn Rowan Laurie, author of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom

When I listen to Jason Kirkey retell the old tales and the ancient truths from the Celtic mystical tradition, I am encouraged that the wisdom of our ancestors can still inspire a modern spiritual life. His “silver branch perception” helps us re-imagine ourselves as a species so we can live sane and relevant lives. The Salmon in the Spring is an eloquent calling to be fully present and engaged in our time and place in both human and mythic history. —Tom Cowan, author of Fire in the Head and Yearning for the Wind

One man’s journey to understand himSelf and what it is to be human in the time of the Great Turning. Dare to explore these pages and your own inner wisdom. —Jamie K. Reaser, PhD, ecopsychologists and co-editor of Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with the Land

The Salmon in the Spring

The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality

The Salmon in the Spring: The Ecology of Celtic Spirituality
Jason Kirkey, with a foreword by Frank MacEowen

Winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards
Silver Medal in Mind-Body-Spirit

Read an Excerpt

Soul and Nature—the inner and outer landscape—are one: they are the wildness of the world and the wildness of the self.  To alienate ourselves from one is to alienate ourselves from the Other.

Praise for The Salmon in the Spring

“Here at the end of the Cenozoic Era with the life systems withering away, a surprising creativity appears, a kind of mystical balancing act.  The world’s spiritual traditions are entering into deeply engaged conversations through which the riches of each are ignited in new ways.  With The Salmon in the Spring, Jason Kirkey has boldly carved out his place in this exciting work with his original interpretations of the concepts and stories of ancient Ireland . . . Kirkey’s vision speaks directly to our present ecological challenge.  Rejecting those nature-denying forms of spirituality that have been used too easily to justify our domestication of the planet, The Salmon in the Spring announces its thrilling spiritual foundation:  “Our wild nature is our soul.” —Brian Swimme, California Institute of Integral Studies

The Salmon in the Spring is a bold book.  It is bold because it—no less so than its author—isn’t content to rest back on its philosophical laurels and ponder by-gone eras.  To the contrary, Kirkey and The Salmon in the Spring invite and initiate the reader into a deep dive within the interior space of the Celtic mystic, but in archetypal and pragmatic ways that make an important contribution to the domain of ecopsychology today.” —Frank MacEowen, author of The Mist-Filled Path, The Spiral of Memory and Belonging, and The Celtic Way of Seeing

The Salmon in the Spring presents a new perspective on Irish myth, interpreting traditional tales through the lens of ecopsychology and Buddhist insight. Kirkey’s readings are clear, compassionate, and respectful of the tradition while at the same time offering relevant openings for a global interest in Celtic spiritualities and their potential as a source for ecological healing in a time of great crisis. With exemplary honesty about his sources and inspirations, Kirkey weaves a poetic and poignant argument for the necessity of reexamining Western mythic models as we search for balance in a swiftly changing biosphere. —Erynn Rowan Laurie, author of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom

When I listen to Jason Kirkey retell the old tales and the ancient truths from the Celtic mystical tradition, I am encouraged that the wisdom of our ancestors can still inspire a modern spiritual life. His “silver branch perception” helps us re-imagine ourselves as a species so we can live sane and relevant lives. The Salmon in the Spring is an eloquent calling to be fully present and engaged in our time and place in both human and mythic history. —Tom Cowan, author of Fire in the Head and Yearning for the Wind

One man’s journey to understand himSelf and what it is to be human in the time of the Great Turning. Dare to explore these pages and your own inner wisdom. —Jamie K. Reaser, PhD, ecopsychologists and co-editor of Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with the Land

Love Affairs with Herps

Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians
Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians
Jamie K. Reaser (editor)
252 pages, 5×8 Paperback
978-0-9799246-5-1
$12.95

[wp_cart:Courting the Wild (Reptiles):price:12.95:end]

Praise for Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians

Ever since that infamous episode in The Garden of Eden, we humans have desperately needed to heal our relationship with the scaly and slippery ones. Unfairly disenfranchised from our goodwill for thousands of years, “herps” deserve to be loved for what they really are: fascinating, life-giving, and the only creatures with perpetual smiles. —Susan Chernak McElroy, author of Animals as Teachers and Healers

Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians is a must read! This riveting book provides a unique glimpse into the fascinating world of reptiles, amphibians, and the people who love them. Finally, there is some good PR for herps, as well as proof that I’m not insane or alone in my desire to kiss a snake. —Donald Schultz, Producer and Host of Discovery television series I Was Bitten, Feeding Frenzy

This wonderful collection of essays offers a glimpse into the special world of reptiles, and the spell they cast on those who have devoted their lives to their study. If you love nature, whether or not you’re “into” reptiles, you’ll find much to enjoy, and you just may come away with a newfound appreciation and respect for these fascinating, often beautiful and frequently misunderstood creatures. —Russ Case, Editor, Reptiles Magazine and ReptileChannel.com

How does it happen that ordinary, well balanced, people end up dedicating their lives to snakes?  This book by Reaser and her colleagues answers this question, not only for snakes, but for turtles and lizards, and frogs and toads and salamanders, too. Enjoy these stories.  If you are young (or young at heart), there may be an epiphany awaiting you. If “herps” have long since been your passion, let these tales take you back to those early formative days, when everything that has happened since first began. —Michael J.  Lannoo, Ph.D, Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine and editor of Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species

This is a book you can only read until sundown, at which time you will be inspired to visit the amphibians and reptiles in your own neighborhood. The stories contained herein will rekindle memories of your own first connection to nature, making you want to relive that moment and motivating you to help protect these amazing animals and their wild habitats. —Shelly Grow, Conservation Biologist, Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Ever since that infamous episode in The Garden of Eden, we humans have desperately needed to heal our relationship with the scaly and slippery ones. Unfairly disenfranchised from our goodwill for thousands of years, “herps” deserve to be loved for what they really are: fascinating, life-giving, and the only creatures with perpetual smiles. - Susan Chernak McElroy, author of Animals as Teachers and Healers
 
Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians is a must read! This riveting book provides a unique glimpse into the fascinating world of reptiles, amphibians, and the people who love them. Finally, there is some good PR for herps, as well as proof that I'm not insane or alone in my desire to kiss a snake. - Donald Schultz, Producer/Host of Gurney Productions, Discovery television series “I WAS BITTEN, FEEDING FRENZY”
 
This wonderful collection of essays offers a glimpse into the special world of reptiles, and the spell they cast on those who have devoted their lives to their study. If you love nature, whether or not you're "into" reptiles, you'll find much to enjoy, and you just may come away with a newfound appreciation and respect for these fascinating, often beautiful and frequently misunderstood creatures. - Russ Case, Editor, REPTILES magazine, ReptileChannel.com
 

How does it happen that ordinary, well balanced, people end up dedicating their lives to snakes?This book by Reaser and her colleagues answers this question, not only for snakes, but for turtles and lizards, and frogs and toads and salamanders, too. Enjoy these stories.If you are young (or young at heart), there may be an epiphany awaiting you. If “herps” have long since been your passion, let these tales take you back to those early formative days, when everything that has happened since first began. – Michael J.Lannoo. Ph.D, Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine and editor, Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species

 
This is a book you can only read until sundown, at which time you will be inspired to visit the amphibians and reptiles in your own neighborhood. The stories contained herein will rekindle memories of your own first connection to nature, making you want to relive that moment and motivating you to help protect these amazing animals and their wild
habitats. - Shelly Grow, Conservation Biologist, Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians

Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians
Jamie K. Reaser (editor)

Praise for Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians

Ever since that infamous episode in The Garden of Eden, we humans have desperately needed to heal our relationship with the scaly and slippery ones. Unfairly disenfranchised from our goodwill for thousands of years, “herps” deserve to be loved for what they really are: fascinating, life-giving, and the only creatures with perpetual smiles. —Susan Chernak McElroy, author of Animals as Teachers and Healers

Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians is a must read! This riveting book provides a unique glimpse into the fascinating world of reptiles, amphibians, and the people who love them. Finally, there is some good PR for herps, as well as proof that I’m not insane or alone in my desire to kiss a snake. —Donald Schultz, Producer and Host of Discovery television series I Was Bitten, Feeding Frenzy

This wonderful collection of essays offers a glimpse into the special world of reptiles, and the spell they cast on those who have devoted their lives to their study. If you love nature, whether or not you’re “into” reptiles, you’ll find much to enjoy, and you just may come away with a newfound appreciation and respect for these fascinating, often beautiful and frequently misunderstood creatures. —Russ Case, Editor, Reptiles Magazine and ReptileChannel.com

How does it happen that ordinary, well balanced, people end up dedicating their lives to snakes?  This book by Reaser and her colleagues answers this question, not only for snakes, but for turtles and lizards, and frogs and toads and salamanders, too. Enjoy these stories.  If you are young (or young at heart), there may be an epiphany awaiting you. If “herps” have long since been your passion, let these tales take you back to those early formative days, when everything that has happened since first began. —Michael J.  Lannoo, Ph.D, Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine and editor of Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species

This is a book you can only read until sundown, at which time you will be inspired to visit the amphibians and reptiles in your own neighborhood. The stories contained herein will rekindle memories of your own first connection to nature, making you want to relive that moment and motivating you to help protect these amazing animals and their wild habitats. —Shelly Grow, Conservation Biologist, Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Love Affairs with the Land

Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with the Land
Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with the Land
Jamie K. Reaser and Susan Chernak McElroy (editors)
160 pages, 5×8 Paperback
978-0-9799246-3-7
$12.95

[wp_cart:Courting the Wild (Land):price:12.95:end]

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.

 

“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 that amidst 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.

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.