cover image The Wisdom of Wilderness: Experiencing the Healing Power of Nature

The Wisdom of Wilderness: Experiencing the Healing Power of Nature

Gerald G. May, Author . Harper San Francisco $24.95 (194p) ISBN 978-0-06-084540-7

Psychiatrist May (1940–2005), known for his works blending psychology and spirituality (Addiction and Grace ), chose the theme and milieu of Nature for this, his last book. Chronicling outdoor forays he took from 1990 to 1995, May's elegant prose uses a storyteller's magic to plumb the profound mystery of outside events that provoke and foster inner change. Vivid details and masterful style place the reader in context: breathing alongside a bear, drumming with cicadas, grieving a man-mutilated turtle, dodging eagles or seeking fire's heat in a soaking storm. "Thunder came and it was my song, and the wind my courtesan, and praise welled up inside me as the rain poured, drenching down around and in and through me until the fire finally died under its flow and there was nothing but cold dark chilling water covering everything, running down my legs into rivulets." May is a kind of Christian Zen master, but this book doesn't favor a particular religious tradition so much as the deep wild of nature's way. In this work for everyone, he wants us to understand that wilderness is our natural state and that contemplative communion with the "Power of the Slowing" will bring us safely home to our wild eternal selves. (June)