Can a whole continent be your homeplace?


As I write to you I’ve just come in from pulling out spent cucumber vines and planting fall kale.  I love this time of year!  Read on to find your final access to this summer’s Mutual Flourishing Forum, a discount in the next week only on flower essence consultations, and thoughts on summer experiences in nature.

Can a Whole Continent Be Your Home Place?

Chara on Flatiron 1 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy

During a family trip in the western U.S. this summer, I reflected more on what it means to have a homeplace on planet Earth.  In human history, people generally stayed on the same land their entire lives, presumably feeling deeply familiar with, and at some level connected to, that place.  Today many of us move from location to location, and many an indoor life leans far from nature connection.  So, what does it mean to have a homeplace, and how much does it matter?

In my lifetime so far, I’ve lived, within the United States, in the diverse environments of Colorado (urban and rural, plains and high mountains), Michigan, California, upstate New York, and Pennsylvania.  In Europe, I’ve lived briefly in the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.  Having moved around a fair amount and at times left places I deeply loved, I identify with “the natural world” and “planet Earth” and “North America” more than with any single location.

This summer as we visited Denver and Boulder in Colorado, drove to the high mountain valley where I spent my childhood, then passed through the orange rock formations of Utah and the grey deserts of Nevada before reaching California’s mountains, hot fruit-growing regions, and moist, cool Bay Area, I reflected again on whether it’s okay that the homeplace I most relate to is North America.  Currently both Colorado and Pennsylvania feel like ‘home’ to me, I still feel roots in upstate New York, and parts of Europe feel like they could easily be my home, meaning that no single place fully fulfills that definition.

For those of us connected to many places on planet Earth, the risk, of course, is feeling unrooted.  Even if you have lived in a single place or two your entire life, if you have ecological awareness about the problems occurring worldwide in the natural world, you may feel connected to many parts of the Earth.  As best as I can see at present, our solution is to root down as much as possible wherever we currently are, while also cultivating an awareness that our whole continent (whichever you live on) and our whole planet are our larger homes.  Ask your heart and body, and nature herself, and let me know what you think.



Explore the blog pages if you haven’t yet listened to this summer’s Mutual Flourishing Forum, which offered interviews with herbalist and spiritual mentor Chonteau McElvin, farmer/herbalist/chiropractor Charis Lindrooth, and wellness mentor and nature connection afficionado, Lindsay Pera.

What’s coming up from Mutual Flourishing?  I’ll offer my nature-connection course, The Roots and Branches of Mutual Flourishing, starting in mid-October.  I’m pondering another telesummit but am primarily focused on real-time teaching of college students, this fall teaching my ecological humanities courses and a justice-oriented sustainable agriculture course.  I’ve been continuing my own inner journey of discernment.  In the eventual future for Mutual Flourishing?  Probably an online school focused on re-connection of people to the Earth and exploring what it means to be activated to your own self-development while also being activated to care of the natural world.

In the next week only I’m offering a discounted price on flower essence consultations.  Email me at if you are interested.

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