Naked in Eden: My Adventure and Awakening in the Australian Rainforest

( 3 )

Overview

'You must be mad to live in the bloody jungle, mates.' Not mad exactly, just disconnected and seeking more meaning and adventure in their lives. An eccentric free spirit who never quite fit in, Robin Easton saw her soul mate in Iana rugged, rowdy Aussie who wanted out of the confines of his family's business. Together they planned their Great Escape: to live off the grid in a remote area of Australia's Daintree Rainforest.

But as their Jeep wound its way closer to the tiny ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $3.93   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

'You must be mad to live in the bloody jungle, mates.' Not mad exactly, just disconnected and seeking more meaning and adventure in their lives. An eccentric free spirit who never quite fit in, Robin Easton saw her soul mate in Iana rugged, rowdy Aussie who wanted out of the confines of his family's business. Together they planned their Great Escape: to live off the grid in a remote area of Australia's Daintree Rainforest.

But as their Jeep wound its way closer to the tiny black dot on the map, Robin couldn't have fathomed just how the jungle would test her mentally, physically, and spiritually. As she came face to face with her fears of deadly snakes, leeches, and man-eating crocodiles, she began to unravel the mysteries of life and death, love and loss, and nature and humankind. Hidden in the forest mist, she discovered our biological relationship to the natural world and our unique place in it.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Teri S. Lesesne
This adult memoir chronicles the journey of the author and her husband to the wild outback of Australia. There, the two lived off the land and learned to not only survive but celebrate the raw and dangerous beauty that surrounded them. Lush descriptions of the flora and fauna native to this region, the Daintree Rainforest, provide a rich setting for this voyage of self-discovery. This is a book that might resonate with teen readers who are seeking real-life stories set in the wild, stories that lead to a deeper sense of self and one's place in the world. Most teens, however, will find the writing somewhat difficult to wrestle. Though the author does provide a glossary of sorts that translates her husband's colorful use of Australian strine, there is still much here that will not be familiar. A map would have been helpful. Perhaps adding links so that readers could locate visuals of bandicoots and other inhabitants would add more depth for younger readers. While the memoir is not as reflexive or reflective as Thoreau's Walden, it is possible for passages to be used to connect teens to those other types of texts. The voice is definitely that of an adult, however, and will not reach out easily to most teens. Reviewer: Teri S. Lesesne
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757315121
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Easton walked away from society at the age of twenty-five. She left the United States and went to live with her husband in the remote tropical Daintree Rainforest of Queensland, Australia. One of Robin's most remarkable rainforest experiences was the gift of music. During her last year in the rainforests of Australia she began to dream beautiful music. When she returned to the United States she sat at a piano and played as if she'd played for ten years. Unable to read music, Robin has performed and recorded on both the east and west coasts. She's done production work with musician Les Brown, Jr., and produced and published her own piano solo album, all from her original dream music.

Robin's story has been told on an award-winning NBC News affiliate piece, Paul Harvey News, CNN, KBLA Radio, KSFR, and others. She's appeared in magazines and newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada. In 2002 Robin helped found the Daintree Rainforest Land Trust (DRLT) to help save the vital rainforests. She writes and blogs at www.nakedineden.com.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Snake in My Face

The gentle breeze that usually filled our valley had abandoned us. I knew the day would soon be intolerably hot. If I wanted to go for a morning hike I had to leave immediately. I slugged down almost a liter of water, grabbed a handful of dried fruit from the tent, and wandered up the hill that rose behind our camp. I was eager to reach the crest and see what lay beyond. Was there a grand vista or perhaps an undiscovered creek full of ancient palms? But the top of the hill never came, beyond each rise was yet another hill. I kept climbing and climbing and was annoyed when the pain in my bladder begged me to stop and let go of the water I'd drunk earlier.

I pulled my frayed denim shorts down around my thighs and squatted barefoot to pee. Oh man, the simple pleasures people miss; warm urine pooled around my toes, and warm air caressed my bare arms and legs. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I saw something move. A six-foot, red-bellied black snake raced toward my feet and the urine streaming from between my legs. I gasped, pulled back. Startled, the snake rose to strike position, twelve inches from my face. With head and neck flattened, he lashed out three times in a false strike within two inches of my nose. I froze. Oh God, I'm still alive. His fangs didn't snag my face. Robin, stay calm. Don't move a muscle. If he bites, you could be paralyzed.

Head to head, eye to eye, I didn't dare breathe; my moist breath might provoke a serious strike. Inches from my face, my neck, it would be the worst place for venom to enter my body, immediate envenomization. I could see each individual scale on his head. His rapidly throbbing throat stretched so tautly it appeared distorted. Two glasslike black eyes bulged with fear and stared straight into mine. His tongue flicked between black scaly lips to taste the air. Can he taste my fear? I have to let him know I'm no threat. How do I communicate that to the snake's tongue? His eyes are almost popping out of his head. Boy, I know how he feels. Wait a minute; he's more terrified than me.

When I realized this, I knew that the way to reassure him was to act and feel as if his presence were almost irrelevant to me, as if I were a tree or a rock. Surprisingly, that was not as hard as you might think. I knew he'd either bite or he wouldn't, but if I flailed about or even moved he'd most likely strike. Since we were already nose to nose I decided the best course was to calm myself in earnest by pretending I faced only an earthworm and had nothing to fear. Something shifted in me and let go. I actually began to relax. Time slipped into slow motion. Time within time, face-to-face, I started to comprehend this maligned creature. I began to think and not merely react. Gradually, compassion calmed my racing heart, and within that calm I heard the snake's thoughts.

'I don't know who you are. I'm terrified. Confused. I don't want to harm you. You just happened to be on the path of my flight—though I will protect myself, fight for my life if I have to. You don't seem ready to attack. You're too big to eat. You're much bigger than I am and could easily crush me. Aaah, so you hadn't thought of that. You don't realize your own strength, do you? Not that I fear that strength. So, you're afraid too. What'll you do with your fear? Strike out? Kill me? I'd like to pass unharmed. Will you let me do that? I don't dare take my eyes from your face. You might hurt me. I must remain in strike readiness to protect myself. If you look away and allow me to escape I won't harm you. Can I trust you? Can you trust me? We've reached an impasse.'

While the snake directed his thoughts into my consciousness, I heard a lizard dart among the leaves, a fly zip past my right ear. A kookaburra in a distant tree gave a brief laugh; the midday sun sweltered too hot for anything more raucous.

The snake flicked his tongue.
I blinked.
Swallowed.
Waited.

All of a sudden, I felt more awareness than I'd ever experienced. I was taken aback that I could feel such crisp clarity. More surprising, I immediately had a memory I didn't know I could recall, a memory of being connected to all other life forms, a time when all beings communicated with each other, awareness-to-awareness.

The snake waited, motionless.

Thoughts drifted from my mind. With the ease of a child, I talked with Red-belly, thought-to-thought.

'Okay, Red-belly, I hear you. One of us has gotta be vulnerable. I'll take the risk. I need to test my courage. And you're right; I'm heaps larger than you. I must appear huge. Since I've intruded into your space, I'll retreat first. You can trust me. Please let me trust you. I don't wanna become paralyzed from your bite. I'll slowly turn my head away so you won't see my eyes, and my eyes won't see where you're going. I've no interest in following you. You're safe. Just don't bite me. Okay? Sloooowly, I'm turning my head and eyes away from your space. See? I'm completely at your mercy. Don't harm me. You're free to leave. I won't hurt you.'

With my head turned side on, the snake took one huge black lunge and whipped half of his six-foot length up and over the rest of his body and vanished into the rainforest faster than my peripheral vision could follow.

I collapsed, grinning to the urine-soaked ground. I felt elated. In the face of potential death, I discovered a courage I didn't know I possessed.

Tested and passed, I began my initiation into the mysteries of the Australian rainforest. There were many more tests. Each one I embraced with loving spirit and open arms. Daily the whisper of this ancient rainforest beckoned me to enter and discover life's most intimate secrets. In time I shed all of my clothes along with my fear, and walked naked into the jungle.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword Michael J. Roads ix

Acknowledgments xi

Author's Note xv

Introduction: Snake in My Face 1

1 The Journey Begins 5

2 Weirdos and Washouts 49

3 The Old Man by the Sea 81

4 Goin' Troppo 111

5 Things Eating Things 145

6 The Way of the Earth 175

7 There Is No Separation 205

8 Crocodiles, Feral Pigs, and Pitch Black 245

9 Do Not Intervene 279

10 I Am an Animal 313

Notes 323

Robin's Glossary of Strine 327

Contributing Writer 339

About the Author 341

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    I heard about this book after reading David Moody's January 28 H

    I heard about this book after reading David Moody's January 28 Huffington Post review of Naked in Eden. I bought the book from Amazon, thankful that it was available in Kindle edition.




    This book absolutely altered the way I look at the forest. I love being outdoors and when I hiked alone, I actually believed I was alone. Easton's book opened my eyes to the idea that everything in the world, plants, animals, trees, bugs, is aware of my presence in the forest. Her descriptions of the Daintree rainforest a passionate and very picturesque. I found myself talking to the book at times, laughing out loud, and fighting back tears at times. 




    I was amazed at how full the book seemed with so few human characters in it, and then I realized the the fullness comes from the most passionate LOVE that Easton projects into her writing. As a reader, I actually came away feeling love, and feeling loved. There were so many times that I just slapped my leg and said to myself "Gosh. I wish I said that!" 




    There is a very striking contrast that I saw in Easton's book as compared to books by different authors in this and other genres. So many authors highlight the "man vs. nature" theme. They amplify conflict with a natural world, infested wild and dangerous man-eating beasts to be feared and then overcome by courage. Yes, Easton acknowledges fear of the same man eating beasts, among other things in the rainforest. But by the end of the book that fear is transformed to awareness. The conflict is transformed to compassion. The fear is transformed into love. 




    I STRONGLY recommend this book for anyone who enjoys nature and who wants to engage a deeper spiritual relationship with nature. I also strongly recommend the book to parents with teens, as a way to get them to get out and live their lives, rather than watch it on television or video games. Real adventure far surpasses virtual adventure, and Easton illustrates how adventure can be enlightening when facing our fears of the unknown.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wasn't what I expected it to be.

    I expected to read about Easton's transformation during her time in the rainforest. The trasformation happened but she sort of skimmed over what her life was like before the transformation so I really didn't get a feel for what she went through during the process. However, I hate to criticize anyone's transformation process because I know this experience was huge for her, I just don't know if it was worth it to share her experience with other readers, without allowing them to walk down the path with her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2010

    A Most Unusual Love Story

    Just as her book's title holds layered meaning, so does Robin Easton's engaging personal story.

    "Naked in Eden" is an unforgettable adventure tale, mesmerizing in its bold and revealing honesty. Easton holds nothing back as she relates how she reclaimed herself in a most unusual way. Twenty-five years old, mildly autistic, and alone with her new husband in a foreign country half-way around the world from her home and all that was familiar, she found the greatest treasure in life among glistening moments of pure beauty.

    Exciting, impactful, and awe-inspiring, this nail-biting account of a period in her life is filled with breathtaking scenery, danger, humor, passion and compassion, wisdom, and the most profoundly beautiful love. It's an unusual adventure story, a journey of self-discovery, and filled with universal wisdom.

    Easton's delightful story is powerful and moving, and it's filled with astounding moments of courage, strength, honesty, vision, and woven throughout her tale are shining nuggets of cautions, lessons, and wisdoms for the world. If readers look beyond the surface, they will find universal messages they can apply for themselves, life lessons for growth and awareness about what it means to live a life that's in absolute harmony with everything and everyone: all our world's living beings.

    This hard-to-put-down book is an easy read, with dialog and descriptions that flow as smoothly as an undisturbed river. My recommendation, however, is to read it as slowly as you're able, just so you don't miss any hidden nuggets of juicy revelations about life. I couldn't do that, though. I just finished it, and will turn right around and read it again, for the deeper messages, to catch all the subtleties I know I didn't allow to register the first time, gleaning more insights from this most unusual and uplifting love story about life and the world we live in.

    I can't recommend this book enough, and I eagerly await Easton's next tale!

    A final word-or two:

    My admiration for this woman is unbounded. I teasingly remarked to a friend that we should clone Easton, and he said, "Cloning her is a great idea. It could transform life as we know it overnight." I totally agree! The world needs more who approach life and live it as she does: fearlessly and wholeheartedly, and eagerly seeking the best within and sharing it widely.

    Easton is a worthy role model for all of us.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)