What does it feel like to be a part of the living, breathing earth? And how do these experiences contribute to the sense that the earth is sacred, holy? In prose that is at once lyrical and vividly profound, the author intimately recounts – from childhood to the present day – his experiences of being carnally drawn into the life of the earth through six particular landscapes that open out towards the ineffable, the sacred, which does not gleam beyond the earth’s horizon but beats, from within, the very heart of life.
Praise for Lungs of My Earth
“In a breathless torrent of vivid impressions–most strikingly those of touch and feel–William Henry Searle ignites our own senses, brings us to life. Those of us, like me, who glibly speak of the living Earth as our larger body, are jolted awake to a wilder, more awesome reality.”
—Joanna Macy, author of Coming Back to Life
“William Searle’s book, Lungs of My Earth, is an inspiring and heart-warming read. The author has been able to weave together a sense of the sacred with a sense of the place. Here in this book the love for the landscape meets the imagination of the intellect. The resulting prose is a beautiful narrative. It is a pilgrimage through life as well as through the land.”
—Satish Kumar, founder and director of Schumacher College, editor of Reurgence Magazine
“Lungs of My Earth evokes particular places dear to the author, sweeping them into our imaginations with a rush of delighted language to create ‘a luminous map of the sacred’. Part field-work and part sky-dreaming, it is at once exact and exultant—a vibrant song to the earth and echo chamber of the earth’s own singing.”
—Sir Andrew Motion, UK Poet Laureate, 1999-2009, President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England
“William Henry Searle guides us through six particular landscapes, richly described and wisely reflected upon. As we journey through forests, marshlands and wind-scoured mountains, we discover what modern humans are most starved for: an embodied connection with a numinous world. This lyrical and potent book deserves a permanent place in the bookshelves of anyone interested in bridging the false divide between outer and inner nature, Earth and soul.”
—Mary Reynolds Thompson, Author of Embrace Your Inner Wild: 52 Reflections for an Eco-Centric World and Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness.
William Henry Searle
William Henry Searle, Ph.D., born 1987, in Dorset, UK, is a spiritual ecologist whose work draws on the world’s diverse spiritual traditions, philosophy, ecology, and personal lived experience in the outdoors to revive the sense of the natural world as inherently wild and sacred. He holds a doctorate in creative writing and environmental philosophy for which he was awarded a three-year studentship to study at the Royal Holloway University of London. He is currently working on four books: Landscapes of Kin, which explores the connections between family and landscape; I am Heathen, which is a personal journey into rewilding the soul; a book of poems on his beloved Snowdonia, and Perpernappercan, a fantasy trilogy. Lungs of my Earth is his first book.