My first reconnaissance.

This is it. My first blog. What fun.

I'm co-authoring a paper about women in the wilderness and how as women, we have historically had a very different relationship to nature than our male counterparts. Let me start by saying I know a lot of men who view nature as I do, and a lot of women who view nature as "men" do. I grew up on a farm, in the middle of nowhere, MN. I spent my days, at least the one's that weren't 30 degrees below zero pa-rousing the grove, building sad little forts, envying my brothers much cooler forts, and getting generally muddy. As a result, I love dirt, ground, earth. There's something about the scent of freshly turned soil that catapults me into a distant life where fascinating was the spring thaw and it's permission to sail little bark boats through the culverts, and the unadulterated pleasure of helping my mother plant tomatoes and cucumbers in our garden, and waking up the first morning having slept with the windows open and feeling showered in ozone. As an older woman now I crave these moments of connection with nature. I don't need to go on a grand adventure to experience them either.

I called myself a nomad, but I own a house and a volkswagon station wagon. I'm not a true nomad, at least in the quintessential sense but I am by my own right. I adventure, sometimes from the view from my living room couch. I travel while I'm taking a bubble bath after a particularly chilly day. I go on excursions, sometimes only to my garden. What is it about this earth touching, feeling, digging, turning, being? Do we as women see the world differently of just some of us? Do we experience nature in ways distinctive from our male counterparts? Are we somehow meant to know the difference between concrete and soil and to know that the latter heals us? I hope so. You tell me.


  1. The blog looks wonderful! We just got back from Lutsen last night, and I'm already counting the days until we go to the BWCAW this summer. There are few places I feel more at home and at peace with life and the living of it.

  2. This is great, Sara...I can't wait for your next blog! We've been on quite the journey this year, ourselves, but we can't wait to be HOME.

  3. I love what you say about the dirt and the home excursions. I just started reading "The Last Child in the Woods"... have you read it?

  4. I loved the part about forts. So many came to mind as a child: the snow mounds, the log and pine needle forts, the fort that I got stuck underneath and the one that my tongue jumped out of my mouth and stuck to a frozen pole. Long story....Congrats Sara, this is wonderfully done.


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