Two Winters in a Tipi 

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"In 1989, a midnight August storm unleashed a bolt of fire, connecting heaven and earth through the mountain farmhouse in which I had been living for the past seven years,"? writes Mark Warren, a naturalist and educator for the Georgia Conservancy. The old dwelling's tin roof had reflected heat downward like an oven, creating a blistering inferno fierce enough to melt all his metal tools; it also claimed his piano, the manuscript of the novel he had been writing for seven years, and the music he had composed over the past three-quarters of his life. Fortunately, Warren and his dog, Elly, had been away for the night. Left only with the clothes he had on, a knife, his guitar, and a few field guides that had been in his truck, Warren saw, with enhanced clarity, that his tragedy brought both sorrow and appreciation, limitation and freedom. In each paradox he chose the more positive path. With nothing to weigh him down, he took the opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream by making his home in a tipi. Warren's fascination with the forested lands around his childhood home, where mystery whispered in the trees and Indian artifacts were everywhere to be found, had called him to become a naturalist, but it was his two winters living in the tipi that transformed his relationship with the natural world--he became intimately acquainted with the living things around him and the cycles of the heavens and the seasons. Warren's book is a guide to all that is essential in a life well-lived: good companionship, pleasure in simple things, the deep, soul-filling joy of being alive and an expanded sense of connection to the natural world. He discovered the earthy, physical confidence that comes with knowing that one is capable of meeting one's own needs.

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