THE EARTHFIRE BLOG

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Hounded

— by Susan Eirich, PhD — When I got out of the plane returning the States after living in a village high in the Himalayas on the border of Tibet, the first thing...

Stephany Seay photo.

-- by Susan B. Eirich, Ph.D. -- There was a national sadness at the euthanizing of a baby bison in Yellowstone last May. It was taken away from its herd by well-meaning but ill-informed tourists, and the rangers made the decision to kill it when it couldn’t be introduced back. It was causing difficulties running up to cars looking for help. We all become a bit traumatized by news like this. There have been radically different responses to this highly emotional event. An environmental educator wrote in response to what she perceived as cruel attacks on the tourists through social media. She talks about the basically loving, concerned impulse of the tourists, however misguided, and how...

Deep in the forest

In the dead of winter, as I drive over Teton Pass from Earthfire to Jackson Hole, I am always impressed by the stately presence of the magnificent trees. In the frozen mountain landscape they are stoic silent sentinels to survival. They are gorgeous; inspiring, peaceful; both each individual tree and the whole forest community. I always think of Robert Frosts' poem, "the wood are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep......." If you are dressed right they beckon you into a silent magical world of silence and snow and tall living presences. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening | by Robert Frost Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He...

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-- by Jeffrey Callen -- The sound of rustling papers caught my attention early in the evening, shortly after nightfall. The sound was coming from the back room, a storage space where we also keep the food and food bowls for our cat and dog. When I got to the kitchen I found our cat Roxie lying crossway in the doorway, blocking entry into the back room. Her posture was relaxed but her head was up intently watching a raccoon eat the kibble in her bowl. Her body language was clear: you can have anything in this room but you can’t come any further into the house. When my image appeared behind Roxie, the raccoon—an adolescent male (his hind quarters out of proportion to his front...

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-- by Deb Matlock M.A. -- Recently, in Yellowstone National Park, a couple of visitors from out of the country saw a baby bison laying by the side of the road.  Fearing the baby was cold, they placed the baby in the back of their car and drove to a ranger station seeking help for the young one. Locals and those familiar with the etiquette of living with bison know these individuals made a very dangerous decision for everyone involved. However, this situation speaks to the deeper need to understand the world around us so that our heart can make informed decisions when we feel compelled to act. The tragically unfortunate ending to this story is that the baby bison ultimately had to be...

Retreat Dinner

-- by Deb Matlock, M.A. -- Discussing challenging topics in a community meeting.  Sharing stories around a campfire.  Entering an online chat room with people from around the world.  These are all examples of ways to engage in conversation with one another. Years ago, at the end of my time in graduate school, I found myself pacing the floor of my hotel room a couple of hours before the final presentation of my thesis work.  My topic, the rhythmic connection between people and the earth, had taken me on an extensive journey through many cultures, disciplines and time periods.  In presenting this material, I wanted to offer people a glimpse of my discoveries as well as make months of...

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