An EarthCraft Origin Story

Every religion needs its mythos. I wrote this one a while ago and posted it last year. It seems a good day to share it again. Eve Eve woke up with the birds each morning. The piping and burbling of thousands of little brown birds in the reeds, so numerous in kind they’d not even… Continue reading An EarthCraft Origin Story

The Dawn of Everything: Review

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity David Graeber & David Wengrow Farrer, Straus & Giroux: 2021 The Dawn of Everything was a revelation. The “Everything” from the title may not exactly refer to our past, but it surely may refer to a sweeping revision of how we see ourselves. If so, it… Continue reading The Dawn of Everything: Review

Santa Lucia

Before Pope Gregory tweaked the Julian calendar and caused a great deal of confusion, 13 December was celebrated as the winter solstice in Scandinavia. The poem by the late 16th century English writer, John Donne, “A Nocturnal upon St Lucy’s Day, Being the Shortest Day” shows that Protestant countries were still celebrating Midwinter in the… Continue reading Santa Lucia

All Hallows: An Entanglement

It is All Hallows’ Eve, Hallowe’en, the first day of the ancient new year festival called Samhaine, which is usually translated as “end of summer”. This is one of the few clear remnants from at least one of the cultures we now name “Celtic”. The word, Samhaine, shows up in the Late Roman Era luna-solar… Continue reading All Hallows: An Entanglement

Gatherers

I’ve been an armchair archeologist/anthropologist for most of my life. I’ve always had a fascination with deep history. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to tease out the Story of Us not mediated through the words of the privileged few; and deep history, pre-history, is where you find the story before it was broken. Further, when… Continue reading Gatherers

The Straight Story on Farming

Again, a perfectly wonderful book raised my ire by throwing out a tired trope — the assertion that all our societal woes date to the "inception of agriculture" (which phrase is itself a red flag that raises my blood pressure; there is no such point in time or place). This time the claim that farming… Continue reading The Straight Story on Farming

Language of Flowers for Ecologists — Autumnal Hues

Sunflowers & morning glories in August This is my favorite time of the year. There is the food, the cooling temperatures, and the lengthening night. But there are also the best flowers! This is the garden I wait for all year long. Sunflowers to asters, these are the flowers that speak to me. They are… Continue reading Language of Flowers for Ecologists — Autumnal Hues

Further Exegesis of A Man

In the past couple weeks I’ve encountered two new books from people who should know better claiming that our big brains and social systems are rooted in hunting. This is the bad penny of origin stories — Man the Hunter. It is time someone bites down on this one and shows once and for all… Continue reading Further Exegesis of A Man

Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days are upon us. For me, this name evokes childhood afternoons spent with my collie, Toby, reading under the fig tree, swimming in river pot-holes, and generally doing as little as possible. I have never loved summer best. I’ve never liked heat. Nor did Toby. We invented all sorts of escapes. Mind you,… Continue reading Dog Days of Summer