- Paperback: 264 pages
- Publisher: Lyons Press (May 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0762779225
- ISBN-13: 978-0762779222
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 116 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Two Winters in a Tipi: My Search For The Soul Of The Forest Paperback – May 1, 2012
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
Mark Warren graduated Phi Beta Kappa in chemistry from the University of Georgia and pursued a career in music while working as a naturalist and educator for the Georgia Conservancy. The National Wildlife Federation named him Georgia’s Conservation Educator of the Year. His articles on nature and survival skills have appeared in the North Georgia Journal, Georgia Backroads, and Blue Ridge Highlander. A U.S. national champion in whitewater canoeing and a winner of the World Championship Longbow Tournament, Warren founded and runs the Medicine Bow Wilderness School in the North Georgia mountains, where he lives.
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After completing his undergraduate work, Warren was accepted into medical school. He called the school and said he wouldn't be showing up because he had changed his mind. However he still had some scientific training which he took to the woods with him and that is one of the things that made the story fun for me. Warren told the usual tale of becoming one with the world and running with the deer, but then gave some of scientific explanation for it, which I always think is fun. For example when he talked about trees communicating with each other he talked about some research in that area. He said that it had been found that when a tree was ill or was experiencing an infestation of insects for examples, the trees surrounding it responded by going into a self-defense mode. Can't remember the details and have NO biology knowledge, but the trees pulled something in their leaves back into itself, the harder part of itself, making the tree less vulnerable. So Warren gives some explanation for what used to be considered old wives tales or new age gobbledygook and I always love it when I come across that kind of info.
When Warren's rental home in the woods burnt down, he decided to try living in a tipi and did so for two years. There is a lot of detail about building tipis and how they function that I found a little tiresome, and yet I had wondered about some of those things. Smoke, for example, problems with rain and other things were explained and was interesting.
There is also information about the Cherokee and their relationship with the world and with the government. I spent yesterday afternoon in the Anasazi Center in Cortez, CO and just left feeling so sad. It is a wonderful BLM museum, but I was just so struck by one particular photo that was described as being taken during the American Occupation. Something about that terminology and the reality of it struck deeper. The only place that made me more sad than that was Little Big Horn.
You can see there is a lot of variety in this book and it is a quick and interesting read.
I did not find that. What I found instead was a man and a simple tale of an uncomplicated life. I’ve read libraries worth of works by naturalists so there were undefined expectations, yet I soon began to appreciate what wasn’t found in 'Two Winters in a Tipi'. Mark Warren is not an angry man. I personally value this. Many books by naturalists carry an undercurrent of rage; this is understandable if you love nature and see what is being done to it, but I am not an angry person and am grateful when not confronted with it. It’s an angry world, for me it was an intangible relief not to feel acrimony under the story. It was nice to be allowed leave that behind for just a moment and see the world by simply being in it.
By the end of the book I realized that I had indeed found something profound: A tale of a man who chooses to live his life compatibly with the natural world. We all have that choice and Mark Warren allows us to see that it’s not a complex decision, it simply is.
I respect that he has a school to share his ease with others. I left this book with the impression that while perhaps his school is a mission to him, Warren is on a gentle mission of sharing, not one to preach or convert, but to guide.
I am glad I read 'Two Winters in a Tipi: My Search for the Soul of the Forest'. I felt it to be genuine and for me that is priceless. Read the book. I think you will be glad you did as well.
Initially the book appears to be about his struggle to rebuild a life after "losing everything" in a fire but by the end it's clear that bolt of lightening illuminated a path to a more fundamental freedom.
Having spent one of the most challenging weekends of my life in one of Mark's firemaking classes and joined him in some archery practice I can attest that he is the real deal. He's simply a walking encyclopedia of skills and lessons that, once probably common, are now so rare to find in one person. I'm very much looking forward to seeing more titles from him.
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