Grizzly bear surrounded by rocks and bushes

— by Jessica Friedman — It was an invitation that brought me to Earthfire. As the digital content manager, I have the luxury of working from home—an arrangement that suits my introverted heart just fine. But since home is 2 ½ hours away, it also means I sometimes feel a bit disconnected from the land and animals of Earthfire. Susan suggested it might be worthwhile for me to meet the rest of the team, both human and animal ambassadors alike, so I accepted the invitation and made the trek north to Driggs. Susan introduced me first to the bears. There was Humble Bumble, sweetly sucking on his paw like a child might suck a thumb. Beautiful Bramble, towering several feet above my head...

Various species of wildlife gathered around a tree with a sign that says Team Meeting Today

Attending a Council of All Beings is a way for us humans to widen our awareness and appreciation for other forms of life by entering into their perspectives as best we can. Each human participant prepares by meditating to feel which being wants to speak through them or who they are drawn to speak for. Then they make a mask of the one they will represent. During the actual council humans set their own identity aside and speak through the masks as that being. Sometimes seeming strange for those on the outside; for those in it and willing to try something different to shake us out of our regular way of seeing things, it is an interesting, enlightening experience. While we know on an...

White-tailed deer doe standing in the woods, looking back over her shoulder at the camera

Sometimes our blog posts and newsletters elicit feedback that includes stories and personal experiences that readers felt compelled to share. We wanted to share one such story sent to us by Diana Powers in response to our recent blog, Schooled by a Stag. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Thank you to everyone who has reached out. It really makes a difference to us. The Deer By Diana Powers I arose to a day filled with warm spring sunlight and birdsong so powerful that even the cacophonous chugging of some huge payloader cannot squelch it. I’m up late today so I know the winged ones have been at it for a while. They are as pleased as I am that winter has gone and we no longer have...

Mule Deer Buck standing in the woods

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — I recently attended an urgent retreat called ReVersing Extinction, where we sought out-of-the-box ways to reverse the accelerating rate of species extinctions. During a break, I found myself in conversation with Stan Rushworth, a Native American teacher and writer of rare power. He told me about an encounter he had some years ago in the forest. He was walking among the trees, unarmed, when he saw a young stag. They looked at one another. As Stan resumed walking, the stag walked parallel to him a short distance away. They were simply enjoying each other’s company, warily, but in growing comfort. This went on for several minutes. Then, for a fleeting second,...

Maxwell the Magpie

— by Jessica Friedman — For several years, I worked as an animal caretaker at an outdoor education facility in New Mexico. Every day, I had the privilege of introducing children to the animals in my care: chickens, burros, sheep, goats, cows, and ponies. Some of these kids had never met an animal besides their dog or cat, and seeing their faces light up as they interacted with these creatures made every day special. Knowing that this connection with animals could lay a foundation of love and respect for the natural world made filled my days with purpose and passion. But as much as I cherished my work with those young souls, my favorite part of the job were the hours spent between...

Man with dog in the woods

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — “The presence of the natural world is a direct path to personal healing and collective transformation...” Dr. Linda Bender In her online course last year, wildlife vet Linda Bender spoke with several thought leaders on the relationship between spirituality, healing and nature. My own part was speaking about the healing quality of connecting with animals, using stories to share what I have learned from the animals I have lived with. At a time when we are overwhelmed with information, we have no frame of reference with which to organize all this information and make coherent sense of it for our lives. For that, we have to go back to the ground from...

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