Trees, ecological memory, and seasonal rituals

CaptureDear Friends,

As the solstice approaches, I write with a few short updates.

Holiday trees and gratitude in The New York Times:
Fir trees, olive oil, yule logs: the aromas of holiday traditions evoke deep memories. I write about the ecological meanings of these experiences today in an op-ed.
Recommended reading short-list for the winter:
The following essays and books are, I think, important and beautiful. Well worth your time:

Two essays by David Abram in the amazing new Emergence Magazine. Magic and the machine and Creaturely migrations on a breathing planet.

To Those Who Were Our First Gods, a new chapbook by poet Nickole Brown.

Lauret Savoy‘s Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape.

Michael McCarthy‘s The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy.

Reader, Come Home. The Fate of the Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf.

The Songs of Trees and The Forest Unseen are both available in paperback:

In local, independent bookstores. Find one at IndieBound
Also: AmazonBarnes and NobleBooks-A-Million, iBooks

Many thanks! I send my best wishes for the solstice season.


4 thoughts on “Trees, ecological memory, and seasonal rituals

  1. johnboulton10

    Responses from Australia: from a friend in Perth about to head on a 5 day drive back to the NSW south coast: unlikely to come across scents on the Nullarbor (yes, imaginatively named) reminiscent of northern Europe; from a farm in Tasmania: the smell of eucalyptus after rain (is far from pine resin); and from NSW, those scents of an English childhood mark the divide between this really ancient continent and the new forests of post-glacial Europe. Thanks David, as always making us ponder beyond the mundane.

  2. chessiepique

    Just stopping by to say that I absolutely love The Forest Unseen, and I have lost count of my re-readings. There is so much to cherish in that book. Imagine my delight when I finally did a little googling today and discovered there’s another book now! I just purchased The Songs of Trees and very much look forward to reading it. Please carry on … your writing creates a special place in the universe for those who love and respect nature.

  3. David S Johnson

    “My conscious brain catches up later, adding a patina of language.” Gorgeous as always. When my wife and I went to Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, Canada, we stepped out of the car and were surrounded by spruce and fir. We said, “It smells wonderful. Just like a candle!” Only slightly ashamed and greatly amused that we knew the candle before we knew the tree.


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