Becoming Nature: Learning the Language of Wild Animals and Plants
Bear & Company
Softcover $18 (304pp) 978-1-59143-211-1
No matter the starting place, the intentional practices described here can evolve a new mind-set.
For humans, in their domestic state, perhaps no experience could be as potent as regaining a true and meaningful relationship with the whole of existence. In Becoming Nature, Tamarack Song offers invaluable practical and spiritual guidance for returning to harmony with the Hoop of Life.
Through a series of manageable steps, Song inspires personal transformation by offering a new understanding of the dynamic between nature and the individual: “Relationship is empathy, which is created not by study but by the experience of the heart.” If they are open to the philosophies Song outlines and are committed to the practice of learning with both the body and imagination, readers can improve their experiences of finding and interacting with wild animals.
The mental and physical exercises, games, and stories included here create a unique and multidimensional approach—one in which dominating nature (by becoming a skilled tracker, successful hunter, or other “expert”) is revealed to be much less fulfilling than to truly “become” nature. To shed attachments and learned cultural behaviors, finding ways out of an ego-centered reality and into a greater experience of wildness, these practices redirect energy away from rational analysis and toward the creative envisioning of life from the perspective of nonhuman animal kin.
The writing is personable, and Song’s generous inclusion of tales about his own journey to “become nature” adds a loving quality to the text. No matter the starting place, the intentional practices described here can evolve a new mind-set, one in which a lack of judgment and detachment from proscriptive goals can enhance our intuitive sense, or as Song puts it, our fluency in Nature Speak, the “mother tongue of all life and the foundation of interspecies communication.” Song explains that this language is “the operating system for our minds and the basic lens through which we perceive our world.”
Whether urban dweller or off-grid subsistence homesteader, anyone can benefit from the collected wisdom Song shares in this latest offering—these lessons from a lifetime of learning-by-doing inspire faith in the limitless potential of one who has truly become nature.