About Me

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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water. After twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live and work in the Ozarks and visit the mountain often. These are stories about the Ozark Wilderness written from a women deeply influenced by this special place.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Salamander Tadpole

Yesterday, just before the cool winds and rains blew in, my uncle took me down to his salamander pond. We found many tadpoles, their gills are like the mane of a Chinese dragon. This one was also getting its front legs. These amphibians are becoming more and more rare. That is why my uncle has dug a special pond for them to breed. We are all excited each year to see the next generation of salamanders tadpoles growing strong. Read more about the Ringed Salamander here!

Ringed Salamander Tadpoles

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks

Today both my belly and my heart is full. I feel such gratitude and humble appreciation.
I often talk to my students about appreciation, particularly about their appreciation for the environment. It is a notion we toss around casually. But the sheer magnitude of what our natural environment does for us is overwhelming. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and everything we buy came from the earth. We are made of earth, from the earth, and one day we will return to the earth. I am thankful for that which gives me life. I am thankful for the life and love that is all around me... the life that is inside me.
After such a beautiful day I am in awe of such beauty and splendour and so grateful that I will be waking in the morning to greet yet another glorious day. Yet, I know that so many people are not as lucky as I. Sometimes I feel guilty because I can not relieve their suffering. While so many suffer, I am so blessed. So I can not forget to give thanks for all that I have been given. It is the least I can do!
This Thanksgiving I am filled with deep gratitude.
So many of our holidays have good stories behind them but have become materialistic and Americanized in some way. But Thanksgiving is the opposite. It has a sad story. It celebrates a empty day full of empty promises and lies. If the Pilgrims and Indians came together on this day to feast, it was only followed by years of war, a great exodus, and the decline of a nation full of indigenous cultures. But like all American holidays, the story has been forgotten. And on this holiday I am glad! For me and so many others, it is not a celebration of the past but an appreciation of the present. A time to bring families together and give thanks. We need more days like today!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How to Live?

I am in a constant struggle, a battle with myself. So much of me wants to raise my boy close to nature. Yet living in the middle of no where is so difficult, so lonley. Our culture is no longer built for the small farmer or the folks living close to the land. It is an industrialized society and if you want to live apart from that, be prepared to feel alone. The loneliness ate me up, but now the city eats away at me in a similar way.
Perhaps I am cursed to be stuck between these two worlds. I was raised in a constant state of change. We always had more that one home. My parents traveled often and since they were divorced my sister and me jumped between them as well. I want both... to live in the country and have a social life.
When I live in the city, I do not live in a way that I feel good about, but I am able to teach and help others. In the country I can not have much influence on the world, but I am living in a better way.
I think.
It is so hard to know how to live...