The nature writing of Gary Ferguson arises out of intimate experience. He trekked 500 miles through Yellowstone to write Walking Down the Wild and spent a season in the field at a wilderness therapy program for Shouting at the Sky. He journeyed 250 miles on foot for Hawks Rest and followed through the seasons the first fourteen wolves released into Yellowstone National Park for The Yellowstone Wolves. But nothing could prepare him for the experience he details in his new book.
The Carry Home is both a moving celebration of the outdoor life shared between Ferguson and his wife Jane, who died tragically in a canoeing accident in northern Ontario in 2005, and a chronicle of the mending, uplifting power of nature. Confronting his unthinkable loss, Ferguson set out to fulfill Jane’s final wish: the scattering of her ashes in five remote, wild locations they loved and shared. The act of the carry home allows Ferguson the opportunity to ruminate on their life together as well as explore deeply the impactful presence of nature in all of our lives.
Theirs was a love borne of wild places, and The Carry Home offers a powerful glimpse into how the natural world can be a critical prompt for moving through cycles of immeasurable grief, how bereavement can turn to wonder, and how one man rediscovered himself in the process of saying goodbye.
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Over the past twenty-five years Gary Ferguson has established himself as an expert chronicler of nature, having written for a wide variety of publications from Vanity Fair to The Los Angeles Times. He is the author of nineteen books on science and nature, including the award-winning Hawk’s Rest. He is also a highly regarded keynote speaker at conservation and outdoor education gatherings around the country and is currently on the faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop Masters of Fine Arts program at Pacific Lutheran University.
Read an Excerpt
The end came for Jane, and so for us, at the edge of spring, when the leaves of the north country were washed in that impossible shade of lemonade green. A color she said always reminded her of a certain crayon in the old Crayola 64 boxes she had as a kid one labeled simply “yellow green” - a clumsy name with no hint of the promise it held, which was like an early thought of summer, before summer gets quickened by the sun. I was struck by how easily, how routinely she made such connections, coupling little shards of nature she found as an adult, to some encounter when she was young. For her, then, wild country was a way in a means of inciting the sweet startle of childhood.
Table of Contents
At First 1
Toward a Setting Sun 17
The Relics of Home 26
Water to Stone, One 40
Hunger Season 45
The First Goodbye 49
Water to Stone, Two 78
In the Sweet Middle of Nowhere 81
Water to Stone, Three 104
Flowers in the Dust 108
Water to Stone, Four 127
The Great Wide Open 131
Slickrock Wilderness 140
Water to Stone, Five 150
To the Land of Bear and Wolf 155
Water to Stone, Six 167
The Wild We've Forgotten 170
The Carry Home 174
At Rest in Yellowstone 213
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The wilderness Ferguson writes of is almost out my back door. How blessed was he to share it with Jane for 25 years and how poignant it is that it is her "final" resting place where her spirit will abide. Ferguson paints pictures of the beauty and dangers of the wilderness with his words so that you can feel and imagine yourself there. To mourn is respect and to remember is holy and Jane will be remembered through his writings. Excellent book especially for those who love and respect the wilderness.
My professor recommended this book after I expressed interest in the emerging field of ecopsychology. This is a wonderfully written account of the journey through grief and loss and how the natural world can serve as a guide through the darkest parts of that trek to find love, compassion, and a renewed sense of self. I look forward to reading his other works soon.
Review By Kathleen Wall The Carry Home: Lessons from the American Wilderness by Gary Ferguson (2014) Counterpoint Press, Berkeley, CA. With vivid sincerity Gary Ferguson, a nature writer, depicts the power of the American wilderness to destroy and ultimately to heal. He describes the pilgrimage to wild places that invigorated his early life with his nature loving wife Jane. He engrosses us in the five majestic spots where he fulfilled his wife’s wish to scatter her ashes. She died in a tragic canoeing accident, the drama of which was skillfully woven into the book between the treks. This interweaving allows the readers to be lifted up while experiencing the depth of Gary Ferguson’s trauma, grief, and slow revival by again communing with the wilderness this couple loved. Interlaced were reflections on changes in the environmental movement while the wilderness itself took over the course of his life with Jane. Raw anger about the shooting of wolves, which they worked so hard to restore, to the poisoning of towns by mining, demonstrates the genuine losses. In contrast to idealistic days of their youth, he reflected on the complexity of integrating the many lives and values- that require respect as we attempt to learn the lessons of the American wilderness- while preserving the healing powers of mother earth. The book’s tapestry was woven with golden threads of truth on the changing nature of life and the landscape itself. The spiritual maturation took place over the course of the journey. The profound awareness of the fleeting course of all of life, except that of the human spirit, was described as Gary Ferguson came to realize the natural places and all of life is ever transforming. Yet the human spirit is restored and soars from the pilgrimage of the book, The Carry Home Lessons from the American Wilderness. You will love this book give yourself and your friends this gift.