a tent, a campfire, and two pine trees

A Year in the Woods: Twelve Small Journeys Into Nature

by Torbjørn Ekelund Author

In the mid 1800s, Henry David Thoreau set off to Walden Pond, determined to spend a year in the woods in order to "live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if [he] could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when [he] came to die, discover that [he] had not lived." Nearly two centuries later, author Torbjørn Ekelund sets out into the woods with a similar sentiment, though with one important caveat: rather than spending an uninterrupted year in the woods, he would spend one night each month there. In this beautiful book chronicling Ekelund's year, the author explores the disconnect between our cluttered and frenetic existence in towns and cities and the solitude and subtlety of the forest. Upon each return to his own little pond, Ekelund notices changes in the temperature, in the way the light passes through the trees, and reflects on how often we humans forget that we are a small part of a vast ecosystem. A timely and vital meditation on nature and our sometimes troubled relationship with it.