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Friday, March 4, 2016

Book Review ‘Always Returning, the Wisdom of Place’ by D. A. Hickman



The author conveys a simple, calm as she paints a gorgeous picturesque parallel between earth from her physical point on the map and the makings of our individuality. To demonstrate, the prairie of South Dakota represents the macrocosm for the spiritual self. Free of dogma, it is a beautifully written spiritual guide for self-exploration, the images and lessons are brilliantly simple, yet complex in their representation.
It is not a book to read cover to cover in a single setting, but one to rest on your nightstand to read and contemplate one chapter at a time. An uncomplicated explanation might be "mindful living” taking notice of our surroundings in order to find greater understanding. It is a form of meditation.

"But how, you may ask can doing nothing be considered an art?
Successfully doing nothing is a true art form because it requires us to dig in-study our lifestyles, evaluate priorities, consult our hearts and souls, evaluate our minds, discipline our well-worn habits, adopt new and novel ways of thinking, contain (and hopefully understand) our weaknesses... "

Coupled with bits of interesting information, each chapter explores a different aspect of prairie life and the personal mirror inside of us. A pertinent quote at the beginning of each chapter sets the tone. I have to say in a way I envy the simple life and the satisfaction the author has found in her home, neighbors, and family on the prairie. I see, even feel, the parallels and am changed just a bit having read her lovely book.

Ms. Hickman is knowledgeable and educated both formally and informally and I think it would be fair to say that she, in the strongest sense, is a lifelong student of not only the prairie, but of spirituality and sociology.




Review by Sammy Sutton