THIS EARTH IS PRECIOUS TO US. The president in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky; the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water how can you buy them? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect, all are holy in the memory and experience of my people. We know the sap that courses through the tree as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. Perfumed flowers are our sisters; the bear, the deer, the great...

-- by Deb Matlock -- As I came out of the store, I was greeted with a touchingly beautiful site. A mother and a child were crouched down watching a spider cross the sidewalk. The child was completely engrossed in this spider’s journey…possibly from the flower planter to the tree a few feet away. After a few moments of intense, silent staring, the child asked the mother, “What is the spider doing?” The mother responded wonderfully. “I am not sure, honey. Spiders have many things they do. All I can tell you is that we need to let the spider do whatever he is doing and not get in the way.” At Earthfire Institute, we often find our conversations circling around to a very...

-- by Susan B. Eirich, Ph.D. -- The good news: There is a profound worldwide paradigm shift in understanding how nature works. We humans are beginning to realize the living world is profoundly interconnected, and therefore our actions have far-ranging consequences. This awareness is a very beautiful and useful thing. The less-good news: we are in a race against time and need to change our values and actions to match this new realization, rapidly. With the help of the wild animals here and elsewhere, we at Earthfire aim to accelerate this shift. Living in a technologically interconnected age gives us the opportunity to do this world-wide by creating an online platform to discuss what...

-- by Susan Eirich, PhD (First published in Teton Valley Top to Bottom's 1999 Winter Edition) -- It’s snowing today, a thick, gentle snow. I had just returned from a visit to my very old mother, her life force still strong despite her aged body. At first light the moon was a pale luminescent orb in a pale white sky—harbinger of a coming storm. For now there is only the still soft falling of white flakes drifting down from the heavens. It started slowly, tentatively, filling the air with exquisite crystals, covering protecting. I read an article years ago that stayed in my mind—I cut it out to save it but never could find it again. It talked about how peoples of the Far North...

-- 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...