Where The Elk Dream

I drive a short distance up into the western front of the crumpled, arid mountains that always feel like home. From the wide valley floor at seven thousand feet, the squat piñon and fragrant junipers slowly yield to tall ponderosa pines and shimmering aspens that crowd the higher elevations. There, overlooking the endless painted horizon of New…

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Rewilding the Heart and Soul

I need to go find the deer, eat some wild weeds, and walk beside a singing river.  While tree blossoms burst open in profusion all around, scenting the air with honeyed sweetness, and the earth is overrun by lanky, bright flowers of yellow woodsorrel, I’ve been gradually constricting. Like a lengthening shadow, domesticity slowly creeps up on…

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Coming Home: Wild Geese and A Poem in the Heart

In the cool morning air amid the coastal trees, the high desert of New Mexico seems a world away. I have returned from my personal retreat to dear Taos at the foot of the sacred mountain, and once again find myself at this small writer’s cottage I currently call home. Here at the edge of…

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Rewilding The Heart: The Coyotes of Taos

I wake in the night to the voices of coyotes yip yipping outside. The small casita where I am staying in Taos, New Mexico, is silent and dark, just a trickle of clouded moonlight seeping through curtained windows. The motorized whirl of the heater and hum of the refrigerator are both hushed, and for a…

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Return: Leaving My Shoes Along the Trail, Part 3

[Note: this is the third part in a series; for Part 1 click here, and Part 2 click here.] It never fails. Even after a relatively short immersion in the wild, I am transformed. When I started up the dusty path from the trailhead, I felt constricted in a calcified shell of containment; irascible, burdened, and somewhat prickly (think: porcupine).…

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