my first child and my first bird, Autumn 2016

I am a Buddhist, a parent, and a hunter; I harvest food from the streams, the trees, the highlands, and I like to do it with Rumi Wren by my side. taking first fish and now birds allows me to learn about the pure sustenance that fills my belly and graces my cells.

after moving waaaay up the Chewuch, I’ve come into close contact with my cycles of use, reuse, and refuse. all things I consume I must hand-carry onto my property, all things I wish to dispose of I must remove from my property. I drink and bathe with water from a well - this makes me understand the limited nature and pure miracle of drawing the stuff up from deep in the belly of the earth. I make medicine from the few plants whose wisdom I’ve learned in my short time on this land. I gather the wood that will keep Rumi and me warm in the winter then begin the two-year cycle of curing it, cutting it, splitting it, and stacking it. I eat the berries, I drink from the springs, and even my house is built from beetle-killed pine logs felled to clear make way for my cabin. I’ve always wanted to live closer to the earth with my ear hearing kin’s pulsations at night while I sleep and now I’m here. the learning has only just begun and I am nowhere near my lifetime goal of total animal product self-sufficiency.

it is important to me to understand the full cycle of life, conception to death, of all things. hunting, fishing, and gathering my food and medicine is a part of that. I do this because I believe in compassionate understanding of all living beings, much in the same way a city-dwelling vegan might abstain from purchasing hunks of disembodied flesh from the supermarket. I take Rumi to the hills and on our land so that she might never forget she is an inalienable part of our shared body, this beautiful earth, and that we are mutually entrusted with the care of the other.