In many ways Native Echoes: Listening to the Spirit of the Land is my favorite book. It certainly is my most intimate book and the one that is closest to my heart. It is an impressionist painting in words and stories about the power of the land to shape the human spirit.
But Native Echoes is not a book for everyone. It asks you, the reader, to see the deeper truth behind moments and encounters, and to put them together into a spiritual unity, much as one does while listening to a symphony or reading a book of poetry.
Though the book is about the north country, it is really about a way to see and experience the land — any land — on which we live. It is underpainted with the echoes of the Native people while listening to the voices of the earth and the wind.
The burial of a young Indian boy, the healing magic of the first snowfall, a drive into the prairies at 40 below zero, a stone found in the arctic that echoes the shape of cathedral sculptures — these are stories you will find in Native Echoes.
Native Echoes was originally titled, A Haunting Reverence, and that speaks most fully to the spirit of this work. If you feel the haunted presence of distant voices in the land, and experience them with a quiet reverence, perhaps you will find Native Echoes meaningful. It is a book you enter into more than read, a book to experience in quiet moments when you are open to the larger forces in life. It is my most poetic and intimate literary child, and one that I cared about so much that I turned down a major publisher’s offer so I could design it myself.
This is a rare book — hard to find and quiet in its voice. But it is, in both its content and its presentation, exactly the book I wanted it to be. Wolfnordog.com has a few signed copies available for those of you who wish to read a book that the international association of Literary Journalism compared to the works of Annie Dillard, and the poet, Robert Bly, said, “tells a genuine truth about land and people.”
I hope you enjoy it.