The Original Heresy: Homesickness, Civilization, and Transcendental Religion (part 2)

… continued from part 1.

“I am homesick. I’ve been homesick for years, maybe my whole life. The trouble is, I don’t know where home is or how to get there.”

Ellie Robins

The Wild Without and Within

Every so often, I have to get to the woods. I pack my backpack and head off to the mountains of West Virginia or the upper peninsula of Michigan or the red rocks of eastern Kentucky. If I don’t do this periodically, I start to get stir crazy. There’s something about being in a forest, alone and “away from the things of man”. It renews me and sustains me, in a way that nothing else does. Pine forests are especially potent places for me. In the forest, I feel immersed in the great presence that is the green and brown and blue world, suffused with the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and the smell of the forest filling my lungs, my whole body pulsing to the feeling of my heart beating in my chest. This is where I feel most alive.


Published by John Halstead

John Halstead is the author of *Another End of the World is Possible*, in which he explores what it would really mean for our relationship with the natural world if we were to admit that we are doomed. John is a native of the southern Laurentian bioregion and lives in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago. He is a co-founder of 350 Indiana-Calumet, which worked to organize resistance to the fossil fuel industry in the Region. John was the principal facilitator of “A Pagan Community Statement on the Environment.” He strives to live up to the challenge posed by the Statement through his writing and activism. John has written for numerous online platforms, including Patheos, Huffington Post,, and Gods & Radicals. He is Editor-at-Large of John also facilitates climate grief support groups climate grief support groups affiliated with the Good Grief Network.

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