The Wild Self: Celebrating the Sacred, Uncategorized

Nature Lineage


“There is no environment ‘out there’ separate from us. The environment is embedded in us. We are as much a part of our surroundings as as the trees and birds and fish, the sky, water and rocks.” ~ David Suzuki

I was raised in the Deep South, on the land that the Chickasaw once called home.

The trees who brought me up were the Magnolia, Pine, Oak, Sweetgum, Dogwood, Eastern Red Cedar, Tulip Poplar, and Mimosa.

The winds who raised me carry cleansing and tornadoes and change.

The mountain who raised me was Woodall Mountain. The foothills who watched over me were Appalachian.

The waters who nourished me live in Hell Creek.

The great river who nurtured me was the Mississippi. The Red River helped make the way for me and witnessed the birth of my grandmother.

I was brought up by raped land and battlefields and determination and hope.

Mullein, Plantain, Chickweed, Wild Violets, Mint, and Sheepshire were my friends.

The forests who surround me are Tombigbee National Forest in the South, Holly Springs National Forest in the Northwest (who raised my mother), and Tishomingo State Park in the Northeast.

The Natchez Trace currently supports me and surrounds my home.

I was fostered by the fossils and coral and shark teeth of the Cretaceous period.

The land that raised me and supported my bones is composed of loam and clay and selma chalk and petrified wood and agate and carnelian.

I was taught by mud puddles and bees and a quarter horse named Baby.



Who raised you?

The Wild Self: Celebrating the Sacred

Spring Equinox Gratitude


I am ever so grateful for the plantain and the dandelion… the chickweed and the wild violets. They grow and flourish without my having to tend them; every Spring, they herald the equinox and I am seen crouching over the weeds and talking to them. Loving them. Giving thanks for their medicine. Chatting them up like a magpie and dreaming of elixirs and salves and infused vinegars that will nourish me all through the year. *One of my neighbors saw me chattering to the pines and when I stepped out of the woods and saw him, he had a goofy grin on his face. I said, “Oops, you caught me.” LOL*

Next I wander over to the flowering rosemary and share space with the bees… RosemaryI love getting up close and personal with the bees while they are bizzy bizzy, buzzing from one little lavender bloom to the next. I realize that my mind hasn’t even touched the surface of understanding the relationship between human and bee.

foraging I feel myself moving deeper and deeper into a sense of place that nourishes my spirit. I first learned about a “sense of place” several years ago from Kiva Rose and Jesse Wolf Hardin. These two beautiful souls have taught me so much in the 5+ years I have been following them on their website and blogs. Having a sense of place, being rooted and grounded in your space… in your bioregion… is very important; I would say it is vital. What does it mean to have a sense of place? How do you need to feel that connection? Think about it. Lean into the need for connection; we are hardwired for it. If we don’t have it within our selves, our family and friends, or the place where we live, our health and peace of mind is a reflection of that lack. I encourage you to take some time to establish a connection with your space; no matter where you live, there is always a way to connect with Mama Earth.

Yesterday, my buddy, Rebecca Altman, posted a really awesome blog on her site, Cauldrons and Crockpots, called “Hurtling Through Space“. Please take a moment to read it. I was very inspired after reading her post (and lusting over her plum and acorn custard cookie recipe) to really look at how I set my pace this spring. This is the time of year when I come out of my cave and really start moving again. But this year, my body is telling me, “Not so fast, wummin. Everything will be waiting for you when you get there.” So now I am learning how to slow down and find my “Dana pace”, so that I can really connect with “Earth time”. <– really… go read Rebecca’s blog post. I’ll wait. And don’t get distracted because I have more so say.

Darling Ananda Wilson wrote a blog post a week ago in Plant Journeys, and the poem she used in it didn’t just touch my heart… That poem wrapped her arms around my heart and held me close and said, “Look at yourself, Dana. Look at you.”

And I leave you with this. Maybe you will see yourself in it as well.

Oh Great Spirit,
I am the woman walking in the fields
collecting plants to heal the people.
I give thanks to this plant
and I have faith with all my heart
That this plant will heal the sickness of the people.
~ Gathering prayer of Belize ~