I have been reading The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry, sent to me by a dear friend. The first chapter, “A Native Hill,” has Berry pondering his home, which was settled by members of his family generations before his birth. Berry’s exquisitely flowing language evoked thoughts and memories of the locations I’ve called home, from my birth in the Wallace, Idaho hospital long destroyed to this present moment in Westchester County, New York. As with Berry, I live on land conquered by colonizers.
Earth is my home. I commune with humanity. The living planet is my community.
I was born in northern Idaho, and spent nearly all of my initial 23 years in that state. I traveled with my small family via automobile during summers, but most of my time was spent on lands stolen from indigenous people. I graduated from high school on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. I have spent very little of my subsequent 35 years in Idaho. It is not my home.
I received two graduate degrees in western Texas. After a 9-month stint as a postdoctoral researcher in Georgia, which was not my home, I taught one academic year at Texas A&M University. My total time in the Lone Star State was about 5-1/2 years. Texas is not my home.
I called Tucson, Arizona home for 20 years. My life as a university scholar was cemented in the Old Pueblo. I escaped for sabbatical leaves and leaves-of-absence in Berkeley, California, Arlington, Virginia, Cedar City, Utah, Grinnell, Iowa, and the wilds of southern, rural New Mexico. None of these places are my home, not even Tucson.
I created an off-grid homestead near the first designated Wilderness Area in the world (the Gila), along the last free-flowing River in the state of New Mexico (the Gila). I found my tribe in living there for more than seven years. It is not my home.
I contributed to the development of a 57-acre homestead in the Maya Mountains of western Belize, Central America. I lived in the beautiful jungle for 27 months. Belize is not my home.
I have lived in Westchester County, New York since October 2018. I see a large, forested park out my window. I see neighbors and friends daily in this walkable village. New York is not my home. As with the previous places I lived, New York was stolen from indigenous people
I have seen much of the intermountain western United States. I am most comfortable there, in the outdoors. I have traveled within a couple dozen countries on four continents. I have not felt uneasy in these places.
Earth is my home because I have found beauty everywhere I have lived. I commune with humanity because I love interacting with people. The living planet is my community because I value the relationships I have discovered in nature.
Dear prospective supporters,
I am working with a small group of organizers to create a spring speaking tour along the Pacific coast of the United States. It will include the area between the San Francisco Bay Area in California and Portland, Oregon. The tentative schedule has me starting in the Bay Area in mid-April, 2019 and using personal automobiles and the AmTrak train to proceed from there to Portland in early May, 2019.
My existing supporters, organizers, and hosts need additional support to make this tour happen. Can you help?
We need hosts in several locations, including Monterey, San Francisco, the East Bay, Marin County, Ashland, and Eugene. Hosting is needed for speaking venues as well as housing for me and my partner and videographer Pauline along the route. We are also requesting financial support to cover airfare and local travel expenses.
As you probably know, I never charge for my events and I rely entirely on the generosity of folks like you to continue spreading this important message. If you are willing to assist, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will work with the tour organizers to put your generous support to good use.
Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Kevin Hester and Guy McPherson. To listen live, tune in the first Tuesday of each month at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here. We’re on Stitcher, too.
Please help us out by sending your comments, questions, and prospective guests to Kevin at email@example.com. We welcome your toll-free call during the broadcast: 888.874.4888 (from outside the United States, unreliably call 0116055625119).
Thanks to my all-volunteer booking team for seeking additional volunteers in support of my speaking tours. If you would like to host me in your area, please send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
McPherson, Guy R. 2018. Only Love Remains: Dancing at the Edge of Extinction. Woodthrush Productions, New York.
Pauline Panagiotou Schneider and Guy R. McPherson. 2018. Revised Second Edition of Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time. Woodthrush Productions, New York.
Mugs, tote bags, iPhone cases, tee shirts, and other pragmatic goods affiliated with the latter book are available here. I do not earn money from these items. Indeed, they have returned far less money than it cost to create and distribute them. I list them at the bottom of posts in this space in support of my artistically inclined partner, who created them.