Becoming Nature: Learning the Language of Wild Animals and Plants
By: Tamarack Song
Illustrated By: Peri Swan
Publisher: Bear & Company
Publication Date: March 2016
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Many of us can say that we enjoy being outdoors, whether it be a walk in the park, a day on the lake, or a hike through a forest - there are several activities that allow us to enjoy nature. However, there are still some things we miss even when we seem to be surrounded by wilderness and author Tamarack Song has developed twelve steps to help us fully experience the outdoors and the animals that live there.
With intense experience living in nature himself, Tamarack Song has spent extensive time in the outdoors which includes living with a pack of wolves for a time. So, with all this great experience Song has put into words how everyone can become one with nature as he has learned to do. The steps begin with letting go of our dependence on technology for a moment and truly listening to the natural world around us. Even letting go of the restraint of time is something he suggests as he mentions that one day we should turn off any alarm clocks and try to avoid looking at the time. This will allow our bodies to wake naturally with the sun and function through the day without thought of the time. Each one of these steps works to bring us closer to the animals and plants around us and allows us to see things we may have overlooked before.
In the next steps author Tamarack Song then becomes more technical on how exactly to move through nature in the most effective way. He outlines the languages of different types of birds and how to recognize them, and also how to recognize the paw prints of different species of animals. In addition, he also lays out different pieces of needed supplies such as a good pair of moccasins that will help keep your steps quiet as you enjoy the nature around you. Then for travel down the river he puts together plans of how to build your own canoe and the best way to row through a river in order to work effectively with the currents but not disturb the animals around you.
When I first started reading this book I thought it was going to be more of a memoir of Tamarack Song’s experiences and memories of his time in nature. However, I was surprised when I saw this was a book completely dedicated to teaching readers the way to truly become one with nature. Of course Song included stories and lessons he has learned from others over the years but his teaching ability was showcased wonderfully in this book. There were many points that made me stop and think that this was something I could do, as I love being able to enjoy the wilderness around me whenever I get the chance and this book gave great advice in how to do that.
Quill says: A wonderful read and instructive guide for any outdoor enthusiast.