Mountain Time: A Field Guide to Astonishment
June 17, 2023
Delighted to announce that my essay collection Mountain Time: A Field Guide to Astonishment will be published in spring 2024 as the inaugural title for the Longleaf Nature Series from DLJ Books at Columbus State University Press.
Mountain Time: A Field Guide to Astonishment is an essay collection that explores the inner and outer natures of remarkable human and nonhuman beings. It is a book about paying attention—with the mind and with the heart. The essays confront the ethical and personal challenges I faced in a harsh and isolated environment and examine the power of nature to influence my understanding of the human spirit. The lessons I learned on the borders of Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico jolted me out of my customary way of seeing the world—which is the transformative power of a thin place, where the borders between the sublime and the profane melt away.
The essays honor the animals that are often shunned—pack rats, rattlesnakes, ants, prairie dogs, and other desert dwellers that some consider better dead than alive. Many of the animals in these essays are at risk of extinction. The essays honor these animals for the role they play in the wild world and for their unique abilities, such as cooperative societies and complex language skills. By recognizing the animals' value, I hope to give readers reasons to be moved to save them, if it's not too late.