Sunday, February 27, 2011

Survival Resources 7: Learning the Land

Tracking (see my post of 2/9/11), Winter Tree ID (see my post of 1/18/11), and Foraging (see my post of 1/11/11) are all about seeing what is around you, about re-learning our connections to the land in which we live. If our survival depends on the earth, we need to pay attention to it.

There's a lot that has been written about this. Starhawk's The Earth Path (see my post on One with Nature 2: The Path, 12/28/08) gives a pagan perspective on learning the land. Bioregionalism (see my post about this from 12/11/08) is another way of trying to pay attention to what is around us. There is a great quiz that was originally in Co-Evolution Quarterly and Home! A Bioregional Reader that can now be found online. There's what looks like a photocopy of the Home! version as well as an adapted Australian version available. Working through these questions will get you thinking about what is going on around you in the natural world.

I started a book on that I thought was on tracking by tracker Paul Rezendes, called The Wild Within. It really doesn't have much about tracking (he's written another book called Tracking and The Art of Seeing, that I'm sure does), but is more about paying attention to nature around you. The book begins as a journal of his explorations of the forest ecosystem but eventually becomes a spiritual book--because we, too, are part of nature (something we tend to forget, particularly those of us who live in cities).

Of course, the best way to learn the land is not from any book. Walk into the woods. Pay attention. Look around. Listen carefully. Sniff the air. Feel the bark on the trees and the breeze on your cheeks. Taste anything you forage. The best way to learn the land is to go to out and learn from it directly.

Quote of the Day: "Everything around us is always speaking. We can heal only by first learning to hear, to understand, and, in time, to respond. As we do, the world becomes richer, a more complex and vibrant place." - Starhawk

1 comment:

MoonRaven said...

I forgot one other resource for learning the land. The Sierra Club has published a series of books entitled The Sierra Club Naturalist Guides that cover a lot of information about the land around you. I have the one for 'Southern New England' and it gives a lot of information on 'looking at the landscape', 'forest geography and ecology', and various ecological communities: the oak forest, the sand plain, and wetlands.