My goal is to educate instead of judge others for their choices concerning the environment. To do otherwise would be hypocritical. Every sustainable oriented person lived less sustainably at some point, and truly, none of us are where we need to be (yet).
Though I’ve always been drawn to Nature, I didn’t think to actively pursue or cultivate this relationship until 2012, when I moved back home to help care for my mother who had cancer. This move was significant, because it meant leaving behind all that I had built for the last 13 years. For more than one reason, it was also the right decision, and hindsight agrees.
Back then, I recycled when it was convenient and didn’t question the cultural normative view that placed humans at the center of everything, rather than seeing our species as being one part of an intricate whole. I thought trees were beautiful, but would have questioned the logic of anyone who believed they were sentient and conscious beings. Little did I know, I was about to be re-educated.
I’d like to share an experience that helped to change my perspective. On one particular day, I decided to get out of the house and explore a nearby nature preserve. I spent a few hours walking the different paths through the tall pines and prairie grass. It was hot and I was uncomfortable. I also began sensing something different – a growing sense of grief began to settle in the pit of my stomach that appeared to originate from Earth. It was unexpected and yet undeniable. Earth was expressing pain over the imbalance of human activity (pollution and the gutting of natural resources), and my inner response to it was a deep grief. I remember being surprised that Earth did not also express anger, as a human would. Though this experience fell outside my current level of understanding of what was possible, I couldn’t deny it, and it changed me.
My mother passed in 2013 and it was time for me to move on. Instead of returning to my law practice in the Twin Cities, I knew I needed to follow whatever path would get me closer to nature. I accepted an opportunity to move to an outdoor wilderness school in Northern Wisconsin where for the next 4 years, I edited books on nature, blogged for the school, and assisted with marketing and coordinating volunteers. I lived in a national forest (aka heaven) and it was there that I continued to learn how to communicate with Nature, how Nature can heal physical and emotional wounds, and teach us how to live in balance with Earth and ourselves.
I currently live in Southern Wisconsin where I work as a mentor and also assist nonprofit organizations with marketing and web support. I continue to expand my knowledge regarding how to live in right relationship with Earth and Nature, which includes learning how other communities are becoming more sustainable, and how I can encourage my community to become better caretakers of the land.
If you would like to get in touch with me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.