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The Call of the Land

Cracks in the Land

 "Our farmers and ranchers have never faced as many problems as they do today with drought, range fires, high gas prices..." - Michael McCau   

Cracks in my lawnThe land is dry and cracking across the heart of America. Drought is the natural cracker, shriveling everything up till there are gaps that demand radical shifts for underground pipes and construction footings, doubtless as well for all forms of subterranean life.  Then there are mournful, moanful cracks in the land from the massively arrogant and suicidal impulse of industrial-scale fracking in a time of profound earth changes. Foundational cracks abound on planes both inner and outer.

Each day as I open my back door and step out into the world I see this inescapably. I'm confronted with a crazy quilt pattern of cracked land where once had been a lawn. It's a troubling sight. Here at home all 93 of Nebraska's vast, sprawling counties have been declared disaster areas because of the drought. Late August now, and the forecasters say we may not get substantial rain until Halloween.

Our U.S. Midwestern drought -- impacting over 62% of the entire nation -- is having and will have  global consequences: "People in wealthy industrialized countries spend between 10 to 20 per cent of their income on food. Those in the developing world pay between 50 to 80 per cent of their income. According to Oxfam, a one per cent jump in the price of food results in 16 million more people crashing into poverty -- accelerating what global agriculture ministers call The Spiral of Hunger. 

Meanwhile, with at least one more long month of melting to go for the Arctic Sea Ice, the pace of heat-driven destruction to our North is staggering in proportion. Behold this brief composite animation. It's a must see. Just about every record has been shattered, with a month more of melting to come.

Watching the world's larger patterns unfold like this is profoundly unsettling, and can be unbalancing as well without some active, creative initiative to respond to the urgent call of the land.

Proactive response is a key element of 21st Century Agrarianism, and thousands upon thousands of people and communities are responding dynamically, helping to establish healthy new footings and foundations on the land as ballast and complement to the surging waves of digital culture. What is needed now -- in this extreme state -- is positive creative response from millions upon millions of people.

If you are among those who will no longer ignore the call of the land, then here is one place to initiate a response: to become informed, to find ways to cultivate the land to restore its health and beauty, as well to grow clean food for yourself, your family, and your community. Check out the possibilities.

Profiles in Wisdom: bestseller now an ebook

 This wise and provocative collection is highly recommended." – Library Journal 

ProfilesI’m pleased to report that Harlem Writer’s Guild has this week announced that one of my early books, the best-selling Profiles in Wisdom: Native Elders Speak About the Earth, has been converted to an eBook file format.  The new eBook version, EPUB, is becoming the standard for the eBook industry.

With the epic fires, drought and storms that have marked this summer, the publication of this work as an ebook seems all the more relevant. Many of the venerable native elders I interviewed for the book spoke of Earth Changes, as understood from their traditional teachings. And they offer much guidance on how we can respond.

In writing the book, I took my lead from John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer Prize winning Profiles in Courage. Focusing on the quality and relevance of sagacity, the book Profiles in Wisdom presents the stories and thinking of 17 Native American spiritual elders. As our existing culture shifts, what do the ancient ones who have been trained in the sacred traditions of Turtle Island (North America) have to say to us? The elders offer penetrating and poetic insight on a host of crucial matters.

Profiles in Wisdom gives the elders an opportunity to relate their diverse teachings about the human relationship with the Earth. Each of the elders has a personal story, character trait, or insight that can help us get in touch with our own innate wisdom. Their teachings are in response to a series of critical questions asked of each of them: What is your personal story? What do you see happening in the world now? What do you see ahead? What specific advice do you offer to those who will listen? What have you come to know about living in balance on the Earth? How could other people apply these lessons?

Profiles in Wisdom is available for immediate download as an ebook on many web sites.

New York Times Book Review:"Profiles in Wisdom does a fine job not only of presenting the dignity, complexity, and wit of important Indian philosophers and religious leaders, but also of issuing cautions agains easy uplift and wisdom injections...There are some stirring and unexpected powers unleashed in this book."

The Washington Times, John Elvin: "Our leaders should sit and listen to the counsel Steven McFadden has gathered in this book."