We’re excited to announce that Ryan’s book Re-Membering: Poems of Earth & Soul is now live and available!
Re-Membering has 75 earthy, soulful poems in it. If you are a nature and poetry lover, we think you will love this 🙂 May the poems in Re-Membering inspire your fierce and big wild nature hearts and be a small part of The Great Turning.
“Grandfather knew to ‘Look out for rattlesnakes and rusted nails’ and he also knew what too many have forgotten, the primacy of the earth and our place with her. Ryan Van Lenning’s poems restore what’s been lost to our souls, knowledge and love that was once considered basic and obvious. Poems are the perfect form for this remembering— Van Lenning takes us back to mud, to fire, roots and leaves, restoring what our species will not get far without.” —Patrice Vecchione, author of Step into Nature: Nurturing Imagination and Spirit in Everyday Life
Wild nature is always there to jog our memory– to whisper, to sing, or sometimes to yell, “Hey, remember your childhood curiosity? Remember your creativity and your gifts for others? Remember your senses and your animal sensuality? Remember your great love affair with the earth?”
The poems in Re-Membering are about evoking that gasp of memory. To re-member is not only to recall the treasures that have been lost to forgetfulness, but about re-integrating the body and soul, putting the members of our whole selves back together, and to re-belong ourselves to the vast and beautiful and endlessly fecund home we call earth, to become full members again in the great earth community.
Re-Membering is Wild Nature Heart Press’s first book, and we have several literary projects planned, including a curated collection of poems and reflections from participants in our programs.:
Early praise for Re-Membering:
“Bless Ryan Van Lenning for listening to the wild voices and bringing back the news for those who have lost their way. Bless him for reminding us of our original
love affair with the earth and of what we know deep in our souls. His poems give wise counsel: let go of the debris, remember who you are, do not abandon your
luminous thread.” —Lorraine Anderson, editor of Sisters of the Earth and Earth & Eros
“Ryan’s poetry speaks deeply and clearly to the awakening to our true interconnected nature, which is the only way we can transform our world.” –Molly Young Brown, Author of Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects (co-authored with Joanna Macy), Editor of Deep Times: A Journal of the Work That Reconnects
“Ryan’s poetry sprouts out of him from moist, fertile soil – painting a lush landscape of sensual and philosophical magic. His poems transport you to a way of living in relationship with the earth that is lovingly intimate. Ryan integrates body, spirit, and social commentary into a vision of how to live a nature-inspired life amidst noise and overrun technology. ” Ariana Candell, LMFT, Founder of The Earthbody Institute
It’s deep summer–sun-kissed blackberries, cool water, hot skin, Venus nights, toes in the sand, playfulness. We’re right there with you!
We wanted to let you know about three different opportunities to deepen your connection with nature and your wild soul calling that we are offering in these next few months: a Wilderness Backpacking Journey, a Writing Wild Workshop, and a Vision Quest.
Say Yes to Your Wild Nature Heart Backpacking Journey, August 22-26.
We just returned from the Yosemite high-country, scouting locations for some of Wild Nature Heart’s upcoming journeys, including the one coming up next month, our final mountain adventure for the summer. It’s simply stunning and unbelievably peaceful up there. We had some inner and outer wilderness adventures of our own, including creek therapy, fire night, lake swimming, cross-country orienting, and oh yeah, the marmot that stole our socks. We’re pumped to bring people up on the mountain! Are the mountains calling you?
Write Your Wild Daylong Workshop
Writing and nature a good allies and good medicine. We invite you to spend a day in nature to explore the magical alchemy that can happen when you take the time to slow down, be really present to the natural world, and then write from that place.
Fall Wilderness Vision Quest
The voice of your true self does not give up easily. It’s been whispering to you, maybe for a long time, and maybe the time to listen has arrived at last. The modern day vision quest is a new-old practice of setting time aside in sacred ceremony to be by ourselves in wild nature in order to leave behind the voices of the world, cross over into a liminal space where our senses re-awaken and we are able to re-member our place as a part of and a-kin to nature.
Wild Nature Heart’s wilderness vision quest program involves 2 days of preparation, a 24-36 hour solo fast, and 1 day of incorporation before returning home. The fast is not only from food, but from news, devices, and other ways we can distract ourselves. Our programs are small (group of 4-6 participants), to ensure an intimate setting.
Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.” — Terry Tempest Williams
Why the wild?
We embrace wild nature to not abandon ourselves.
We go to listen. We go to remember. There we can hear without distraction. Without the million and one voices of the world that want us to be and do things their way.
We can hear the true things at the center of our selves, the deepest whisperings, the ways in which we show up with either fear or love.
Wild nature is our most ancient place of belonging. It is us. We are one facet of the great wild expression. That is why it can be a clear and powerful mirror for the movements of our psyche.
Whenever there is too much: grief, busy-ness, confusion, unknowing, anxiety, distraction, pain…we can go into the wild and there find the answers within and all the juicier questions.
And we go to celebrate, to play with joy amidst the beauty of our natural world, to have that love affair with the bigger, more-than-human world.
There we access the deeper breaths, the richer dreams, the soft and strong animal of our creature bodies, and the natural eros that permeates ourselves and the world.
It is where we can find more clearly the wisdom of the psyche and the wisdom of the body having that conversation with the wider intelligence of the world.
We step into our fullest selves and wildness meets us fully in return.
It was a powerful weekend of nature, community, and soul unfurling. It feels like yesterday we were sitting in the meadow together in council circle with the sun on our backs, creating nature art, mirroring, sense walking, and singing and sharing around the fire.
It was such an honor to share time in sacred circle with 7 other people on the land! We return feeling nourished by everybody’s soul stories and the connection with the earth community. The mystery of how it is that the exact right people show up to weave the tapestry of interconnected stories continues to astound us. Here’s a small glimpse of the magic.
Gratitude to all!