Step into Nature

Nurturing Imagination and Spirit in Everyday Life

About The Book

Step outside your door and reconnect with nature. From the author of Writing and the Spiritual Life comes a guide that will replenish your connection to the earth and inspire you to develop and strengthen your imagination.

The natural world has inspired artists, seekers, and thinkers for millennia, but in recent times, as the pace of life has sped up, its demands have moved us indoors. Yet nature’s capacity to lead us to important truths, to invigorate and restore our imagination and equilibrium, is infinite.

Step into Nature makes nature personal again by stimulating awareness and increasing our understanding of the environment. But being in nature doesn’t mean flying off to remote, faraway places. Nature is as close as opening your front door—and opening your heart to the sky above, the miniature gardens that push their way up between the sidewalk cracks in our cities, and the small stream just down the road.

Patrice Vecchione demonstrates how nature can support and enhance your creative output, invigorate your curiosity, and restore your sense of connection to and love of the earth. Included throughout the book is “The Cabinet of Curiosities,” exercises and suggestions for practical and unexpected ways to stimulate your imagination, deepen your relationship with nature, and experience the harmony between creativity and the natural world.

About The Author

Photograph by Michelle Magdalena Maddox

Patrice Vecchione is the author of Writing and the Spiritual Life, as well as two books of poetry. She is also the editor of many highly acclaimed anthologies for children, young adults, and adults. Vecchione has taught creative writing and collage workshops at universities, libraries, in community and spiritual centers, including Esalen Institute, and privately for over thirty years. She also teaches workshops outdoors through parks departments and recreation centers. She lives in Monterey, California.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words (March 31, 2015)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476772936

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Raves and Reviews

"In words carried as lightly in hand as a new-found robin's egg, Patrice Vecchione invites readers into a warm and ranging conversation—one that's held with the natural world and its many plants and creatures, with her own thoughts and life, with an array of the world's great writers, scientists, and artists, and, finally, within their own hearts and minds. Step Into Nature illumines the intimate connection between inner an outer, contemplative and wild, and shows the reasons these connections matter: not only for our survival but because they exhilarate our nights and days on this gorgeous, multiple, fragile and every-changing planet."

– Jane Hirshfield, author of The Beauty (poems) and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World

"A practical guide to how to access the inspiration available everywhere and in everything: Step into Nature is a necessary and extraordinary book. Vecchionne clearly explains what it means for a creative spirit to be in touch with the natural world, what it takes to make that contact--she reminds us you probably won't even have to leave your block--and what to do once you have. With useful examples, detailed packing lists, and stimulating prompts, this book will open you to the many creative influences that are right outside your door."

– Camille T. Dungy, author of Smith Blue and editor of Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry

"In an era of cascading ecological crises, what could be more important than reconnecting people to the wonder and beauty of nature? Patrice Vecchione’s elegant paean to the wild world, Step Into Nature, accomplishes its vital mission with a poet’s eye and ear. We may be the planet’s dominant species, but Vecchione gently shows us that nature’s wisdom is predominant; that mindful attention to wild beings and birdsong, to ancient oaks and starry skies, can embolden our spirits, animate our imaginations, and bring us all back in tune with the living world around us. Step Into Nature is an enchanted map linking inner and outer worlds, guiding us through the marvels of nature to discover our own innermost artistic visions."

– Tai Moses, author of Zooburbia: Meditations on the Wild Animals Among Us

"Patrice Vecchione has given us a true workbook fro the senses, full of beautiful methods and exercises for getting ever closer to our surrounding world."

– David Rothenberg, author of Bug Music and Why Birds Sing

"If you take Patrice's hand she will take you on a walk with mountain lions and aspens, over ice and though fire, among your fears, empathies, and imaginings. Then she'll deposit you back in your comfortable chair with a kiss on your head. And only later will you find that your pockets are quite full of turquoise and in your hair, feathers."

– Wallace J. Nichols, PhD, author of Blue Mind

"Wise and full-hearted advice on blurring the boundaries between inner and outer nature. Patrice Vecchione guide us into deeper, freer levels of imagination and creativity."

– David George Haskell, author of The Forest Unseen, Pulitzer Prize finalist

"Patrice's sense of joy and spirit of inquiry inspire me to live in nature more and to honor the creativity often buried beneath the 'business' of life. Her writing is seamless as she navigates the depth of provocative insights about both nature and art-making. Step Into Nature instantly becomes an old friend, urging us oh so gently to wake up to the wonder around and within us."

– Tandy Beal, artistic director and choreographer

"Patrice Vecchione masterly weaves a tapestry between the natural world around us and within us in this collection of simple and accessible stories filled with wisdom that holds a full field guide for anyone who is interested in the muse, art, or creative process and how nature can feed our internal fire."

– Jon Young, author of What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World

"Step Into Nature is a gift for all of us who spend too much time inside four walls! Patrice Vecchione's enthusiasm is infectious and her stories, reflections, and art-making suggestions are inspiring. Quoting everyone from Darwin to Dickens, from Kafka to Lorca to Liszt, she has chose memorable and moving passages that are a treasure chest in themselves."

– Ellen Bass, author of Like a Beggar

"The subject matter is more important than any other, so it is my pleasure to recommend Step Into Nature."

– Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of A Million years with You and The Hidden Life of Deer

"Step Into Nature shows that in nature your imagination will embrace you with a feeling of happiness. Patrice Vecchione reminds us of the importance of caring for the places we love and how every step you take in the natural world will make you want to return again."

– Erick Higuera, marine biologist, conservationist, and underwater cinematographer

"In exploring the nature of artistic creativity, Vecchione sees connections everywhere…. she leads the way to a wealth of ideas that will inspire artist working in all media."

– Publishers Weekly

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