While hiking in California some years ago, I found the most magnificent tree I’d ever seen—a redwood of such grandeur that I nearly fell over backward trying to see its highest boughs. As I came closer, the smell of its resins enveloped me, and when I ran my hand across the deep creases of its bark, it was almost like touching the face of an old friend. Caught by the tree’s magic, I lingered in that grove for the rest of the day. At sunset, I still wasn’t ready to leave.

I hadn’t expected to camp out, and hadn’t brought a sleeping bag or food, but I stayed the night anyway. Snuggled against the ancient tree’s gnarled trunk, I listened to its swaying, creaking, and — I felt sure — breathing. Whether or not I slept that night, I don’t remember. But I do remember feeling an extraordinary sense of peace as I wondered what amazing stories this two-thousand-year-old tree could tell, what rich wisdom it could share. I knew I wanted to open myself to that voice and to travel through time with this awesome companion. That night sowed the seeds that eventually blossomed into The Ancient One.

What are some moments when nature inspired you?

To celebrate the reissue of The Ancient One, I am inviting you all to share your own stories of times you have been inspired by nature. Whether you tell your stories with words, pictures, art, or video, I hope you’ll share your experiences of being dazzled by the marvels of nature—and inspired by its wonders.

In the coming days, I’ll be asking you to submit your own nature inspirations – so get your stories ready! In the meantime, I’ll be posting a few guest blogs to help get your creative juices flowing.