Tom Sawyer meets Native American Wisdom
Deeply inspiring auto-biographical book, covering the real life adventures of the author whilst living on the edge of the Pine Barrens wilderness area of New Jersey.
82 year old Lipan Apache “Stalking Wolf”, (who had avoided reservation life, and got his name by stalking and touching a Wolf) had his lifetime prophecy/vision realised when he saw the 8 year old Tom playing by the river in 1958.
A ten year apprenticeship commenced, where Stalking Wolf imparted his 82 years worth of earth and spiritual based wisdom into eager participants Tom and his friend Rick.
Split into 21 easily readable chapters, this shortish book covers concepts like the inter-connectedness of, and value of concentric circles in the forest, how the mice can be great teachers, the mythical “Jersey Devil”, and learning how to change ones relationship to the cold.
Several gripping, page turning chapters include encounters with packs of wild dogs (Tom has to think about dog pack and lead dog psychology and use great ingenuity and physical prowess to get away after 72 hours stuck in a tree) , an encounter with an angry bear, an extermination, a revenge against inconsidered humans, and the life or death tracking of a mentally impaired adult who is lost in the Pine Barrens.
This book is for anyone who wants to reconnect to what we might have lost in our materalistic, scientific, evidence based world. It provides a window into how a continent used to live for tens of thousands of years until recently
I found this book was one that lived contentedly in my dreams. I bought several copies and wanted to give them away and enthusiatically wanted to tell the stories within it (without giving away the endings of course!).
I also felt sadness for what has been lost in terms of my understanding of nature and spirit and my natural environment.
However I think that a master novelist couldn’t match the impact of some of these chapters. I’ve never been much of a reader but perhaps i’ve just been reading the wrong books…….
(this is a copy of a review I wrote on Amazon)