Excerpted from Satellites in the High Country: Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man, Reproduced by permission of Island Press, Washington, D.C.
We were standing in a circle on a beach of smooth rocks at a bend in the Twisp River. Lynx Vilden was wearing buckskin breeches rolled at the cuffs and a fringed buckskin tunic that showed off her rope-muscled arms. There were curved, inch-long pieces of carved bone in her ears, and a beautifully wrought stone knife in a sheath hanging from her neck. She was barefoot.
“The great thing about learning from the earth is that we can be in communion with everything around us,” Lynx said. “Start looking around, and you probably see a bunch of rocks. But I see a mountain of treasure. Every one is special and beautiful and unique. They are precious for all different reasons. I barely know where to start. All of them, separate beings. There’s fire in some of these rocks — you can smell it.”
When she’s teaching, Lynx’s theater background is apparent. She’s a natural performer, with an actor’s hungry joy when hitting her lines — “a mountain of treasure,” as though she were reciting Robert Louis Stevenson. It wa... Read more