Tag Archives: learning from nature

WIZ open for business

The welcome post for WIZ stated the following:

We launch Wilderness Interface Zone knowing nature literature is something of a spiritual and artistic frontier for Mormons…and yet not.  With Joseph Smith’s First Vision, Mormonism certainly stakes a defensible claim in the tradition of finding God in the wilderness.  Couple this claim with belief in eternal progression, add the central role repentance plays in Mormons’ lives, and Mormons really have quite the lenses for gazing upon the grandeur of the Mystery.  With growing LDS scientific and cultural communities, Mormon literary nature writers ought to abound.  Concern does seem to be mounting in the church for taking a different stance toward how we live in this world, for re-imagining our stewardship in the Creation.  One of WIZ’s raisons d’etre is to support stewardship through story.

The intention at the time was to take a few months to establish WIZ’s tone, rough in its nature then open it up for submissions.  Testing the waters, we had our Spring Poetry Run-off, a successful trial that showed there were writers out there with nature-centric—or not so nature-centric—work that fits WIZ’s vision.

Well, a few months have passed.  We think the time has come to issue an open call for submissions.  Along with building a Mormon nature-wring community, “supporting stewardship through story” remains one of WIZ’s goals.  If you have a short creative nonfiction essay that explores the human-nature story in some way, a criticism essay, a lyrical science essay, a novel or long poem excerpt, a poem of 50 lines or less in length, hybrid literary form, review, commentary, etc., please consider submitting it WIZ.  We’ll also consider posting photographs of original artwork.  To view possible subjects, click on the “Categories” post in the lefthand column.  You’ll see that subjects include everything from field notes to gardens to hoverflies, plus many not yet explored here.  WIZ’s audience, small though it be, will offer feedback.  Your work does not need to be explicitly Mormon in tone or content.  If you are not a Mormon but would like to test your work with a Mormon audience, we welcome your submission.

Dances with hummingbirds

Our homemade hummingbird feeders attach at approximately waist level to the two-by-four railing that runs around our second story porch.  This puts the hummers down with us when they stop by for refreshers between bouts of very small game hunting.  Once they arrive mid-April or so, we wind into the lives of these brilliant dynamos to the point of familiarity.  That is, we share the porch space freely, with the hummers chasing past our heads or otherwise threading their paths through ours. It becomes something of a dance, we humans walking along the porch or in the garden, the hummingbirds dipping, weaving, zipping around us.  Except for unusually marked birds, like one albinous male black-chinned that drops by, I can’t identify individuals.  Some of them, however, have no trouble recognizing me. Continue reading Dances with hummingbirds

Coming out of torpor

Last Friday night my son dug two of the last three holes needed to set our remaining fruit tree starts.  We didn’t manage to plant any of them that night because he and my daughter needed to gather their things together for the early start they faced the next morning.  They were to travel to Moab to take tests for advancement in their Shorinji Kempo classes, and I had to get them to the local Chevron at 7:30 a.m. sharp so they could carpool with the rest of their group.

That morning, after dealing with the “gotcha” moment of my key breaking off in the car’s ignition at the Chevron, I arrived home to attend to the trees.  Planting trees by yourself is a bit tricky, especially with the hammerhead winds we had Saturday (again!) but not impossible.  The kids wouldn’t be back till mid-afternoon.  I didn’t want to make the trees wait another minute for return to more natural circumstances, especially since the stock was bare root. Continue reading Coming out of torpor