“We’re animals — mammals,” she’s fond of saying. “Our deepest memories are of Earth. I think we forget, but reconnect with those ancestral memories when we go out into nature. We remember that everything is interrelated. Nothing stands alone.”
Nature writer Terry Tempest Williams challenges us to take part in spirited conversation and honest storytelling.
In Williams’ mind, both storytelling and listening are intimately linked to the land. “There are other languages being spoken by the wind, water and wings,” she continues reading. “I want to speak the language of the grasses, rooted yet soft and supple in the presence of wind before a storm. I want to write in the form of migratory geese like an arrow pointing south toward a direction of safety. Listen. Below us. Above us. Inside us.” She pauses, then adds, “If we listen to the land, we will know what to do.”
“What I mean is that if we allow ourselves contemplative time in nature — whether it’s gardening, going for a walk with the dog, or being in the heart of the southern Utah wilderness — then we can hear the voice of our conscience. If we listen to that voice, it asks us to be conscious. And if we become conscious we choose to live lives of consequence.”