books Walking Nature Home: A Life's Journey (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series) –

Without A Map, Navigate By The Stars Susan Tweit Began Learning This Lesson As A Young Woman Diagnosed With An Autoimmune Disease That Was Predicted To Take Her Life In Two To Five Years Offered No Clear Direction For Getting Well Through Conventional Medicine, Tweit Turned To The Natural World That Was Both Her Solace And Her Field Of Study As A Plant Ecologist Drawing Intuitive Connections Between The Natural Processes And Cycles She Observed And The Functions Of Her Body, Tweit Not Only Learned Healthier Ways Of Living But Also Discovered A Great Truth Love Can Heal In This Beautifully Written, Moving Memoir, She Describes How Love Of The Natural World, Of Her Husband And Family, And Of Life Itself Literally Transformed And Saved Her Own LifeIn Tracing The Arc Of Her Life From Young Womanhood To Middle Age, Tweit Tells Stories About What Silence And Sagebrush, Bird Bones And Sheep Dogs, Comets, Death, And One Crazy Englishman Have To Teach Us About Living She Celebrates Making Healthy Choices, The Inner Voices She Learned To Hear On Days Alone In The Wilderness, The Joys Of Growing And Eating An Organic Kitchen Garden, And The Surprising Redemption In Restoring A Once Blighted Neighborhood Creek Linking Her Life Lessons To The Stories She Learned In Childhood About The Constellations, Tweit Shows How Qualities Such As Courage, Compassion, And Inspiration Draw Us Together And Bind Us Into The Community Of The Land And Of All Living Things This is a clear eyed look at a life Here you will find illness, divorce, fear you will also find hope, abiding love Walking Nature Home is a life s journey toward personal understanding in which Susan J Tweit transcends her small sense of Self in order to join larger truths every bit as tender and tough as the landscapes she so lovingly sketches Readers who enjoyed Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams and Homestead by Annick Smith will find here a voice of equal power, grace and intelligence. Susan s writing is graceful and honest Her story of confronting health problems, and trying to improve the planet s health, is inspiring Highly recommended. The deepest memoir is filled with metaphor Maureen Murdock, Unreliable Truth Walking Nature Home A Life s Journey is one of those rare memoirs that is much than a life s story as if that were not enough It is a memoir that not only tells us about a lifetime s worth of experiences, but shows us how experience is shaped by knowledge, how knowledge is experienced through nature, and how nature can guide a human being to a fuller, healthier understanding of her place in the world.The constellations are the most important guiding metaphor of this elegantly crafted book Throughout her life, Susan Tweit has oriented herself by the stars, using them to remind herself where she is in space and time I and all the other lives on Earth are connected to the stars So it is natural for her to use the constellations as chapter markers in her life s journey, from Orion the courageous her stellar talisman to Virgo the unowned one, own woman, belonging to none , to the familiar Dipper you can chart your course by it Each of these stellar constellations creates a constellation of meanings and significance in Tweit s life, marking, defining, charting, guiding.And she needed their guidance, for at twenty three, married to her college sweetheart and already embarked on an exciting career as a plant ecologist, Tweit learned that she was suffering from an autoimmune disease that the doctor told her would claim her life within five years Learning to live with that diagnosis, learning to treat her illness as the subject of research demanded of her than she thought she could give But she borrowed strength from Orion, a sense of self from Virgo, and the help of the other constellations And as she learned about her illness, she understood that it was not the end of life, but the first step toward becoming herself.The title of Tweit s memoir, Walking Nature Home, offers another important metaphor for her life Throughout the book, walking is not only a powerful image for purposeful forward movement Orion striding across the black heavens , but for her own growing confidence and personal independence walking away from her first marriage, for instance or making an arduous week long, hundred mile trek, with a dog for companionship, through the Wyoming mountains Walking the days alone, she says, forced me to pay attention If I kept my awareness tuned within, I might yet hear what I needed to understand my health and, importantly, my life And years later, walking with her new stepdaughter Molly allowed them to develop a caring, trusting relationship Walking gave us a territory of our own, a place we could start fresh, away from the disputes that regularly rocked our household Rambling with no agenda forced Molly and me to leave our baggage at home Walking provided time together, and it got us outside to learn the landscape where we lived As the book comes full circle, we find Tweit watching Orion again, strengthened by the love of a man who shares her understanding of the wholeness of nature, in the home they are building themselves on a half block of decaying industrial property in a small Colorado mountain town, where together they have restored a ravaged creek to health Health, restoration another constellation of metaphors here.But that s enough You really must read the book Author Interview Okay, this is one of my favorite books, and even when I m broke I buy copies to give to people It s a beautifully envisioned and written account of finding, and trusting, ourselves and our places in this world I could wax poetic, or I could give you the bare bones outline, but there is no way to summarize this book that does it justice Just make space in your life for the gift, some time soon, of reading it.