An introspective exploration of people and the world around us, Michelina Docimo’s first book, Echoes: Listening to the Voices in Spirited Trees, serves as a window into our own soul and how it relates to others. Interweaving issues of religion, politics, and the environment, Docimo dialogues with local individuals building spiritual and sustainable communities, whose work, words, and actions truly embrace the philosophy of ‘think global, act local.’ The book is a collection of poems, true stories, and artwork that were inspired by artist Kathy Hirshon‘s work, Spirited Trees. Echoes compels us to seek beauty and truth about ourselves, our neighbors, and our living environment by reflecting on questions and challenging us to not only find the answers, but to pursue them passionately.
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…Docimo’s writing style is elegant. Some parts have the feel for me of Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. But this is not traditional nature writing. It is not so much about going out into nature to be alone. The book is more grounded in the return – the wanderer who having found her or his connectedness with nature comes to understand that we are all interdependent on this earth. With that as the taproot, the book tells of the crucial importance of building community, connecting with those things that we share in common rather than those that divide us.
…More than a common ideology, Docimo, Hirshon, and Boone all have one thing that ties them together: a connection to the Earth. They each talk about how nature affects them in one way or the other. And, they each have their own tree stories—Hirshon planting a tree with her grandmother and Docimo picking blackberries from a tree in front of her childhood home. And for Boone, his tree story may not happen for a while. When it comes time to leave this life, he wants his ashes buried beneath a Sequoia tree, one of the oldest living tree species on the planet.
From dust, we return to dust. It is a cycle. We are all one. Isn’t that the true meaning of sustainability?
A significant sign of our times is the turning of many to the “subtle realms” of reality– for solace, inspiration, indeed for discovering a Cosmic sense of Being and Reality. It is no small matter in a world confronted by massive, even life- threatening, challenges. Such “little” moments– becoming huge for the Soul– form the essence of Echoes: Listening to the Voices in Spirited Trees by Michelina Docimo and her collaborators. Difficult for a world so hard-pressed to believe such moments may hold the very spark of enlightenment we are looking for? Perhaps…but here is an invitation to explore! Enter through that “narrow” door and what a surprising turn your own life may take! Enjoy this book; recommend it to others.
Hi Michelina, I enjoyed your book so much. Spirited Trees is a wicker basket full of testimonies that life is precious fruit and we too are the fruit of that basket. Thank you for sharing the visions of yourself and those included in this book.
from Duane Leve Corey, Artist
This book is such a thoughtful compilation of culturally diverse stories, ideas, traditions and wisdom. At it’s core it reminds us no matter what our differences, through nature and each other we are brought together again, one in God. A beautifully written book that allows you to experience life through many different eyes & backgrounds, “Spirited Trees” encourages you to reflect and rediscover the beauty of nature, all but forgotten in a chaotic world.
from Rikki N.
This book made me want to go out and hug a tree! The author’s deep love and respect for nature are sincere and heartfelt. The quotes that accompany each interview were so appropriate and thought provoking. The people in the stories were fascinating and down to earth. So much so, I’d like to invite them all to dinner! I curled up with a cup of tea and enjoyed this beautiful book of poems, stories, and artwork. It’s a joy to read!
from Pauline M.
… a beautiful, moving book that had me thinking and reflecting on every page. Each word has its purpose. This book left me feeling inspired and motivated to create my own impression on the world.
from Melanie Rice, Artist
I forwarded your introduction and sample section to a fellow co-worker and conservationist, who is also an artist. She was getting frustrated and bogged down by the bureaucracy part of her job. Her reply was that your book came ‘at perfect time.’ You are reaching people Ms. Docimo!