Lampyridae, LLC (2020)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (02/2021)
“Arriving Here: Reflections from the Hearth and Trail,” by Lisa Steele-Maley is a series of beautifully written essays of reflection based on her life experiences.
Lisa Steele-Maley was blessed with the opportunity to live off the land in the wilderness of Alaska. Sharing this time with her husband gave her an opportunity to form a connection with nature, that continued through her writings, even after she moved back into civilization. Her return from the wilderness took her to Seattle, Washington, where she began her family. Noticing something was off with her health, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Honoring her health and her family, she did away with outside obligations so she could focus on her children and healing. Moving to the coast, in Maine, with her two boys and husband, gave her an opportunity to focus on nature and the seasons again. She dealt with some losses along the way, which included the loss of her beloved father. Writing her first book, “Without a Map: A Caregiver’s Journey through the Wilderness of Heart and Mind,” allowed her to delve more deeply into her time with him. As she passed through different stages of her life, and followed the rhythm of the seasons, she expressed her thoughts and feelings in the inspirational essays found in this book, “Arriving Here.”
This is a beautifully written book in which the author uses her gift for writing to celebrate her spiritual connections to nature and her family. As I read her exquisite writings, I could feel my blood pressure dropping and my muscles loosening where they had been tense from dealing with my mundane world. By sharing her stories, the author inspired me and I felt a yearning to return to a time when I felt a strong connection to nature, and less separation. I was reminded of my own experiences enjoying nature.
Steele-Maley truly brings her memories to life when she describes these beautiful places in crisp, vivid detail. Her celebration of the changing of the seasons helps to connect her more to the earth, and in turn dissolves any feelings of separation. I felt that the spiritual connection she made with nature while living in the wilderness, helped her to form a link that will always remain with her. She also helped me to renew my resolve to treat our planet and its resources kindlier, and not to take more than I need.
I am grateful I had the opportunity to read “Arriving Here: Reflections from the Hearth and Trail,” by Lisa Steele-Maley, and I hope others who are tired of feeling disconnected, will seek solace in these pages.