Updated: Mar 7
I met Brooke in Montana. We harvested plants together, shared stories and snacks in the mountains, and I listened to her sing as we picked sage. She is a friend, and also a legendary indigenous Earth Keeper, wisdom teacher, healer, visionary, singer/songwriter, catalyst for wholeness, ceremonialist, and author. So much wisdom in one lovely person!
One topic she really feels passionate about is helping people to re-connect with nature. "We can’t really consider ourselves spiritually aware until we understand and honour our connection with all of nature." Below is a part of our conversation about how people can re-connect with nature, and discover more about their true nature—no matter where you live!
KT: I’m so appreciative of this opportunity to talk to you about the role of nature in spirituality and honourable harvesting. You’ve been described as an Earth Keeper, can you tell us what that means?
BME: I was raised on the ranch in Montana, under the beautiful crystal mountains. My family were homesteaders, so we lived quite alone out there. Sometimes the people were less than happy and not very easy to be around, and so I really turned to nature. My joy was to taking our little horse and heading up into the high country and spending time in nature. As a child is I fell in love with the Earth. I said to my mom once when I was little, ‘You know mom this is what heaven is like! Except maybe the animals aren’t afraid of us in heaven.’ You know I really feel that way—to be in close contact with nature when I was growing up was so special.
The term Earth Keeper means one who cares for this Earth, who cares for life, someone who is a a conscious and active steward and caretaker of the Earth, someone who wants to take care of the Earth as it is, but also to re-flower the Earth. You know dig up a few parking lots and let paradise come through a little more!
KT: In your book you tell the story of White Buffalo Woman; that she came to the people with a message to bring about a reunion with all things in the circle of life to remember ourselves as being one with all things. It’s an old story, do you think it still applies today?
BME: What she taught is oneness, holyness or whole-le-ness. I think with with holiness, we get confused with a bearded guy in the sky that you can only talk to on Sunday or something. But really wholeness and holiness all come from the same root, and they mean the recognition of the oneness we have with everything. One of the corollaries of White Buffalo Woman’s work is she said that whatever we do to any other thing, or being in the circle of life, we do to ourselves for we are one being.
I work with a lot of modern scientists and basically what they’ve told me is that White Buffalo Woman was talking about unified field theory, and these wonderful mystical scientists are recognizing the truth which is that we are connected to everything and are constantly communicating with everything. Our energy, and what we do affects everything.
We can’t really consider ourselves spiritually aware until we understand and honour our connection with all of nature. If we think we’re the only ones, the only ones that count, the only ones that are aware, the only ones that are intelligent, the only ones that are capable of communication then we are missing the opportunity to recognize the Spirit and Holy Life that lives in everything.
KT: How can people start to develop a deeper relationship with nature?
BME: It is not like going out to a tree and saying, ‘Hi Tree! What do you have to say?” Where the communication needs to start is in that deeper place with physical connection. Over time you may develop and sense, or a knowing of what that tree would like to share, and then you can translate that into your language. I think one of the challenges we have in our modern time is time.
Carve out time to connect. Because we can’t just dash out there and in five seconds have a conversation. Especially when we are beginning.
Touch and physical contact is important. Trees are wonderful for this. You can reach out and lean against them, put your arms around them, get their scent, get the feeling of them, and just be with them. That time and quietness and sensory connection is really important. It is a practice like anything else to slow down and make that connection. I know it is difficult for people in the city, and for people who don’t get out.
Make sure you get your feet on the ground. Get your shoes off. Everyone of our shoes has some kind of plastic in them, so take them off to really get our feet on the ground and feel the vibration and connection with the Earth.
Get wild foods. One of the best healers I know says that one of the things we badly need is to get wild food because wild food has evolved with us over time it knows what we need. Modern practices have changed the plants we eat in so many ways, and their connection with us, their nurturing of us can’t happen as effectively because we don’t have the receptors built to process these manufactured foods. If you live in the city, you buy wild frozen blueberries. They are one of the most nutritious foods in the whole world.
Grow something. Whether you grow a plant out on your little deck, or in your living room. It’s very easy to get a box, put some soil in there and grow anything. Until you’ve grown something from seed you have no idea how much fun that is, but give it a try! To grow something and take care of something is very nurturing for both of you.
Take a moment in the grocery store, literally in the produce aisle, just for a moment in a quiet way really still your heart and your connection to gratitude and say thank you for your give-away. I am going to take you into your body and I really pledge to use that energy to serve and better my world. Just as you are giving me the gift of life, then I pledge to give my energy back to the world in a good way.
Say a prayer over your meal. To be grateful in that moment, no matter where we are, no matter who we are with, you can just do it with your eyes open and sit for a moment. Touch your plate, and just give thanks for what’s there.
Read books like the "Secret Life of Plants" by Peter Tompkins, “Brilliant Green” by Alessandro Viola, and “The Secret Teachings of Plants” by Stephen Harrod Buhner. Books like these allow the mind to get a better sense of how things work, which supports the heart and spirit in reaching out.
If we can understand and recognize the life in soil and plants, your life is really just never the same.
KT: You first published “When White Buffalo Woman Comes Singing” with the message about oneness and reconnecting with nature, in 1991. In that time period since, you’ve taught and travelled a lot. Are you starting to see changes occur with the people shifting in the direction of this message?
BME: We are at a critical point and change is inevitable, but we are also going through a phase of incredible challenges. I see an awakening of a certain amount of people that are staring to understand and make connection with life and each other— people that are understanding the wholeness and holiness of life, along with a growing consciousness among scientists who are helping us wrap our minds around the fact that we are one with everything.
The great teachers throughout all of time talked about everything, all of life is all holy. This is not a new message. It’s not about leaving the body, or only things that are outside of physical dimension being holy, it’s about inhabiting our bodies and this planet with an awakened heart. It’s about coming alive in ourselves, in remembrance of ourselves.
I think that the human consciousness because it is so vital I think that we are really ready to hear the message, and are able to step up and live a more spiritual and more holy life. People are being invited to come into a place that I think we are really longing for—something that feels good, is meaningful and connected. And as people connect to the land, to plants, to the earth, they start to connect up into this wild and precious life.
You can learn more about Brooke, her teachings and writing at www.medicineeagle.com
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