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By David Cucchiara | 

It’s that feeling we get when dipping our feet into a stream, walking undisturbed down your favorite Sourlands trail, or simply sitting on our back porch and just listening to the sounds of nature. It’s your very own reciprocal relationship with your environment — customized just for you, complete with a heavy dose of unmatched catharsis.

Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s book Rooted falls somewhere between a personal memoir and a dazzling narrative connecting nature, science, and spirit. She searches for and quickly finds a way to put into words this sacred bond between humans and environment, an affinity of place and connection to land she calls “kithship.” To me, it’s a perfect, humble way of knowing (and I mean REALLY knowing) the place in which we dwell.

But Haupt also recognizes the unavoidable feeling of hopelessness brought on by industrialization and commercialization — a disconnection from kithship that forces the reader to put their cell phone in another room while reading. We have become afraid of solitude, so much so that our relationship with the natural world has soured. For many, the idea of camping alone in the wilderness is terrifying, despite the chances of actual harm being no more than walking down a Manhattan sidewalk in broad daylight. Unfamiliarly has brought on this fear and created what Haupt calls a “species loneliness.”

The book acts as a prescription for this loneliness and an open invitation to meet our extended family – other species — accepting all the complexity and discomfort nature may bring. Sometimes, we just need to listen and accept what our environment is offering us.

This is a must-read for any environmentalist, nature lover, or person looking for more clarity in life. It’s a handbook for understanding and channeling your own common connection to the tangible world.

4/5