Channeling Muir in The Bronx

When you hike a trail you honor the life, the legend, the man, the beard: John Muir himself. "This great Scottish-American conservationist can be considered the father of our National Parks, and founder of the modern environmental movement. More than anything, though, he loved a walk in the woods." So speaks the trail sign on my …

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A Boot-ist Meditation

Alone at the table I sit, pen-in-hand, remembering. I'm writing a eulogy. For my boots. They were my best, most rugged pair of fire boots: Danners, with thick rubber soles and knowing, thorned-in scratches. Victims of a brutal crime: an unannounced cleaning spree at my parents' house. It is a eulogy, also, to the migratory …

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The Nature Shelf

It all started with a sycamore ball...then an acorn, an oak leaf turning, a wisp of goldenrod. Just one or two small treasures at a time, laid out on a porcelain tray on a bookshelf near the old cord phone. I was living in Washington, D.C., apartment-sharing near Capitol Hill with a woman in her …

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Canine Kisses… and the Power of Story

I've been touched by a wolf, wrapped and changed and marked by her wild energy. Some years ago, during a weekend session of "Art, Advocacy and Landscape" class held on the campus of the Earthfire Institute, a spiritual retreat and animal sanctuary near Driggs, Idaho, our facilitator, Jean, halted us during a conversation about the nature …

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When the Wind

"So like many women before and after me, I lived my life as a disguised criatura, creature. Like my kith and kin before me, I swagger-staggered in high heels, and I wore a dress and hat to church. But my fabulous tail often fell below my hemline, and my ears twitched until my hat pitched, at …

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