Nature’s Calling: The Grace of Place by Gail Collins-Ranadive is now available worldwide. Steeped in the faith tradition of the American Transcendentalists (the majority of whom, like Emerson, were Unitarian ministers) the author’s own spiritual life was likewise grounded and guided by nature. So of course she said yes to a career in interim ministry that would require her to relocate every summer. What would each new landscape, from Nevada to Vermont to Colorado to Arizona to South Carolina to Maine, have to teach her spirit? After all, there was more to learn from nature than could be found in New England, wasn’t there?
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Advance Praise for Nature’s Calling
“Nature’s Calling powerfully expresses the spirituality of nature under the open sky. Chronicling her years as an itinerant minister, she heeds Father Thomas Berry’s call to ‘put the Bible on the shelf and study Nature,’ immersing herself in ecosystems as diverse as the desert southwest, the cloying humidity of the southeast, and the sometimes confusing forests of New England. What comes through in the end is a powerful reminder that closing our books and experiencing nature directly may be a holy act, as well as reclaiming our place in these sacred spaces. This short book is a tonic to the soul.”
–Bill Huggins, Ecocritic and contributor for Texas Review in Books
“Nature’s Calling is a gift of poetic language and spiritual insight that will open your heart and help you feel the blessing of place—the place you are right now.”
–Stephen M. Shick, author of Be the Change and Consider the Lilies
“…Gail’s journey across the nation is reminiscent of Henry David Thoreau’s in New England. Thoreau’s transcendental ideals pervade the writing and journey chronicled inNature’s Calling.”
–Elspeth DiMarzio, Sierra Club, Nevada Organizing Representative
“The stories offer insights of our emotional and rational reactions to our home places of joy and grief, renewal, adaptation and commitment. Collins-Ranadive has given us a gift of reflections from several very different climates and cultures in the United States. This book is a wonderful resource for discussion groups in our very transient population to share personal reactions and motivations from their travels.”
–Irene A. Keim, Chair, Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth
“The casual reader might see this book as a simple travelogue, but in so doing they would be missing the rich mysticism and spirituality Collins-Ranadive presents. In the traditions of Emerson, Thoreau and Wendell Berry, Collins-Ranadive delves deeply into the grace and blessings to be found uniquely in places, and how they can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves and our environment.”
–Rob Mrowka, senior scientist, Center for Biological Diversity
“Gail Collins-Ranadive has created a circular pilgrimage into deeper connection with our planet through listening to the particular wisdom and challenges of the natural world in each place along her path of ministry. For everyone who feels the burden of the crisis in which we humans now find ourselves—here find a drink of cool water and refreshment of spirit for the long transformation.”
–Myke Johnson, minister, Allen Avenue UU Church in Portland, ME