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Forests replenish our well-being

Even though there are scientific, logical reasons for preserving our forests, natural places also provide a setting for mental health through giving sanctuary for spiritual connection and rejuvenation, and physical health through recreational opportunities for families and groups, including observing and enjoying birds and animals of the forests.

“That each day I may walk unceasingly on the banks of my water, that my soul may repose on the branches of the trees which I planted, that I may refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore.”

  ~Egyptian tomb inscription, circa 1400 BC

A long list of Americans who honored this wonderful continent "America" on planet Earth. They saw us as caregivers to preserve this legacy--not only for the scientific reasons for needing trees in our environment--but they beheld the beauty of nature and felt a difference in their attitude, spirit and well-being.

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."  ~John Muir, 1913

A journal of living and loving in the East Texas Woods

Nature and trees nurture body, mind and soul. I was fortunate to have been able to enjoy a year in a National Forest setting. Memories of those days of peace and connection to delightful, non-judging, ever-changing nature sustain me in my daily challenges. That peace and joy is a part of my being.

You can find out more about my retreat and be inspired to take a retreat yourself!! It will make a difference in your life.

cover image showing trees, old barn and clouds

Purchase from Amazon.com ebooks for computer, Ipad, Ipod, Kindle; also vailable from Kindle library.
Welcome to the Woods


About Nancy Freeman
Nancy spent 6 six years of her life getting clean water for her community because a local hardrock mining company was polluting the groundwater in the public wells. She had a win because she researched the data, compiled and organized it and put it out publicly on a website, along with having community meetings at the local library. By that time she knew too much about mining not to help others–but there were new projects sprouting up everywhere–faster than trees. So she decided to pick a focus and concentrate on it–No destructive, non-sustainable mining in our National Forests. They were created for other reasons…. and we need the trees for the health and vitality of our well-being and of planet Earth.

In fact, Nancy has spent a major part of her life in beautiful, natural settings in Norwich, Vermont, Sam Houston National Forest in Texas, and in India, including the Blue Mountains of Tamil Nadu (Nilgiris), forested areas of northern Andhra Pradesh, Uttarkasi in the Himalayas, and the hill stations of Rajasthan. She has written about many of her experiences and encounters in these off-the-beaten-track.

When living in Vermont, although she spent lots of time enjoying and exploring nature–and taking photos of wild orchids–in the most beautiful state in the lower 48, all of her writing time went to the writing of her first book: Journey of a Master, based on information she had collected during her two year journey through India in 1978-1980.

Nancy with Gulmuhar Tree1

She then had an opportunity to return to India as the volunteer editor of a quarterly spiritual/cultural magazine.  She had a lot of time to explore the country she considers the “heart” of planet Earth. She forced and finagled herself to keep journals of her travels,  the places she explored and the people she met, so she would be able to share with others in her efforts to illuminate the reality of incredible India to the Western World. This journal was on-line free for 10 years. Now she is reorganizing the stories according to each state, and uploading them ebooks on Amazon.
Exploring Timeless India: Vol One Tamil Nadu
Exploring Timeless India: Vol Two Andhra Pradesh
Exploring Timeless India: Vol Three Rajasthan-Gujurat

She was able to complete the initial writing of this long journey through the generosity and support of her brother, Jerry, who provided her a place to stay at his vacation home surrounded by the Sam Houston National Forest. While writing “Timeless India,” she begin to write of her many encounters with nature and its critters, initially for her family. Later she put these scenarios together in a book, also available on Amazon.
Welcome to the Woods: Sojourn into Solitude

National Forests are threatened!

By non-sustainable hard-rock mining

Trees of our forests are the Earth’s sentinels protecting and insuring the continuation of life. Trees provide clean water, clean air, clean soil, shade and habitat. We must protect them; they must flourish for life on the Earth to continue.

Forests sustain life from two streams. First, there are scientific reasons. Trees produce oxygen necessary for human and animal life. Trees hold the soil, prevent erosion and filter air and rainwater. The National Forest (FS) mission statement “caring for the land and serving the people” and FS management Acts emphasize securing and protecting of watershed. Second and equally important--trees provide opportunities for humans to enjoy healthy exercise, recreation and contemplation in shady, quiet, natural places to rejuvenate their body, mind and spirit.

Urgency of Mining Law Reform

Oak Flat Land Exchange

Elias Butler video on protecting Oak Flat in Tonto National Forest

Creation of National Forest Reserves

The National Forest System was created to protect our forests from destruction by grazing, mining and unregulated cutting, which were already deemed a problem in the late 1800’s. In 1882, the U.S. President, Chester A. Arthur, stated: "The conditions of the forests and the wasteful manner in which their destruction is taking place give cause for serious apprehension."

The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 authorized the Presidents of the United States to set aside forest reserves from the lands in the Public Domain. The Act was passed under Benjamin Harrison’s administration (1889-1893). He responded by putting 13 million acres of land into National Forests. The succeeding presidents, Grover Cleveland (1893-1897) put in 25 million acres and William McKinley (1897-1901) put in 7 million acres. However, the champion of the forest preservation was Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). Under Roosevelt's pen the forest reserves went from approximately 43,000,000 acres to about 194,000,000 acres, an increase of over 400%.

Over 100 years ago, four U.S. Presidents knew that trees of the forest sustained health and well-being for humans and wildlife. However, we of the "scientific age" aren't able to figure it out.