‘Anyone Can Walk in the Woods, But Who Truly Knows Them?’


Tristan McConnell‘s recent essay at Emergence Magazine just might be the deep breath you need amid your busy week and a chaotic, never-ending cycle of news. In “Illuminating Kirinyaga,” McConnell takes us on a journey into the shrinking forests of Mount Kenya and writes about the land, coexistence, and the people who commune with the trees.

We immediately meet Joseph Mbaya, a man who lives in Kiambogo, a village on the edge of the forest. Mbaya forages for medicine among the trees and finds treatments for everything from arthritis to indigestion; the sap he collects from a red stinkwood tree can help treat an ear infection or a toothache, for example. There’s also Samson Thureinira, an elder living in the foothills, “still strong as a cedar’s trunk,” writes McConnell, and who moves “on a timescale more akin to trees than humans.” The indigenous saplings in Thureinira’s tree nursery are…

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