Dawn Again

Track­ing the Wis­dom of the Wild

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Climate Change -

Doniga Markegard, Pro­pri­o­met­rics Press (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $17.95 (280pp), 978-1-943370-14-6

Pri­mar­ily a mem­oir, Dawn Again fo­cuses on Doniga Markegard’s growth from a teenage na­ture tracker to a re­gen­er­a­tive rancher.

Dawn Again rep­re­sents a par­tic­u­larly good ex­am­ple of al­ter­na­tive school­ing. The author’s ex­pe­ri­ences as a wildlife ob­server, mother, and rancher are sig­nif­i­cant, and de­scrip­tions of her im­mer­sive na­ture ed­u­ca­tion in the first third of the work are par­tic­u­larly vivid and clear.

Markegard de­scribes her early teenage years as tu­mul­tuous, marked by a dis­con­tent with tra­di­tional school­ing and sig­nif­i­cant run­away episodes. How­ever, a non­tra­di­tional wilder­ness track­ing school awoke her love of na­ture and set her on the path to be­com­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vo­cate. She even­tu­ally be­came a rancher and mother, ap­ply­ing her prin­ci­ples to her chil­dren and her hus­band’s cat­tle.

The book gen­er­ally com­mu­ni­cates in an evoca­tive tone that fo­cuses on emo­tional and cul­tural in­spi­ra­tion. While it does fea­ture sup­port­ing re­search for in­for­ma­tion that it cites in-text, it is more the story of a woman’s life than it is a primer on re­gen­er­a­tive ranch­ing or wildlife ed­u­ca­tion. It is an over­whelm­ingly op­ti­mistic book.

The book fea­tures a brand of quasi-spir­i­tual con­nec­tions to na­ture that in­volve med­i­ta­tion, dreams, and other forms of mys­ti­cal in­spi­ra­tion. This may ap­peal to au­di­ences who are re­luc­tant to wade into the in­tim­i­dat­ing and of­ten de­press­ing sea of modern en­vi­ron­men­tal lit­er­a­ture, es­pe­cially that of the data-driven va­ri­ety. As such, it could func­tion as a good bridge book to heav­ier work. It may also be able to act as an am­bas­sador for the re­gen­er­a­tive ranch­ing move­ment.

Dawn Again is a light, en­joy­able over­view of an un­con­ven­tional life.

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