An integrative approach to healing ourselves and our world: honoring people, plants, planet

Stunning Indian pinks (Spigelia marilandica) blooming in mid-spring. Indian pinks are native wildflowers that can be planted in the garden to attract hummingbirds. And of course you can enjoy them, too.

Stunning Indian pinks (Spigelia marilandica) blooming in mid-spring. Indian pinks are native wildflowers, traditionally used as medicine by regional Indian tribes that can be planted in the garden to attract hummingbirds. And of course you can enjoy them, too.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.” — John Muir

Join us on Sunday, April 29th to celebrate John Muir’s birthday month as we walk a portion of Tennessee’s John Muir Trail, a place where Muir himself hiked. I will identify native plants that are used for medicine and food, and Jeff Hunter from Wild South will read from John Muir’s writings over lunch by the Hiwassee River. We will meet at 8:30am to caravan to the trail at the Starbucks on Shallowford Road near Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga.

April 21st is the birthday of John Muir, a Scottish-American immigrant who devoted his life to opening America’s eyes to the beauty around us, leaving a legacy of preserved wilderness for those of us who have come a century later. In the midst of Manifest Destiny, America’s determined effort to move westward and claim Nature as a property to develop for industry’s sake, John Muir was literally a voice in the wilderness imploring United States presidents to value the richness of the wild land for the sake of its itself and for its healing qualities for a human’s soul. We are indebted to John Muir. Without his vision, writings and action, we might not have open access to our most cherished national parks, parks which have created the American identity, such as the Grand Canyon. Muir changed the national conversation regarding land use and founded the Sierra Club. He created a conversation giving voice to Nature, which helped people to understand that a tree is more than lumber, and that clearing a forest is a regrettable loss which steals from the spiritual, emotional and physical health of ourselves, our children and our grandchildren’s children.

In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

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