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Walking my malamute in the cold of a January morning, the sun rising behind the Grand Teton mountains, once again the word “the guardians” enters my mind. They overlook the valley, these three grand mountains, an ever-looming presence. Many people spontaneously say they feel them as protectors. True or not, people through the ages felt they had protectors in one form or another – plants, animals, spirits. Despite the advent of science, if we scratch beneath the surface that ancient sensation is still with us. True or not it gives comfort. And if it gives comfort, then it makes things better and thus can have real effects, easing stress; giving us the feeling something larger than us...

Dreamkeeper howling

Our wolves are howling so mournfully that I am unable to concentrate. They are howling desperately. Constantly. Two of them are down in the woods (a three minute walk) having their pictures taken and the family has been broken up. For all of an hour, but that doesn't matter. Wolves are such emotional creatures!!! The reunion will be passionate as always. Back together again! Family, is everything. In films we are shown over and over that they are superb predators, which is true, but rarely are we shown the depth of their emotional lives. I keep encouraging natural history filmmakers to show that aspect of them. It is important. -- Susan Eirich,...

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An older friend, Allan, who lives part-time in New York City, was telling me how young people walking the streets keep asking him for directions, with their GPS in their hands. One young man couldn't figure out how to get to 7th Avenue from his GPS. Allan said they often didn't have clue - felt lost. I suggested he give them a quick lesson in basic directions - that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. He thought I was joking but I wasn't. New York is laid on on a north/south, east/west grid pattern. The numbers rise from east to west and downtown to uptown. To use the sun brings a touch of nature and our place in it, if we use it to orient ourselves. Feeling oriented is a very...

Earthfire Journal
17 January 2017

Sun Time

I write as the sun tracks across the sky, marking the passing of the (time) day as clearly as a clock. Two hours ago it was barely above the mountains. Now it is higher in the sky pouring light and heat through the window and creating magical sparkles in the fields of snow.

-- by Susan Eirich, PhD --

For a moment now the earths stands still before it turns back toward the light. It is so profoundly elemental, the balance between dark and light. Many religions see the world as an eternal balancing between dark and light, the forces of destruction and creation, life and death each leading into the other in an eternal cycle. It behooves us to give what energy we can to the side of light through kindness, decency and respect for all life.

-- by Susan Eirich, PhD --

This time of year in the Idaho mountains the darkness is so intense it feels like a physical presence enveloping you. It is strangely comforting. Quieting. The result is an urge to spend long evenings by the fire just being, remembering, sinking deep. "Doing" is better suited to the long summer days. For now it is rest, renew, prepare. Many animals have babies growing in them. For me, it is a creative time, reflection and deep connection with the animals eventually giving birth to writings that I can share with you.

-- by Susan Eirich, PhD --