Honestly, I had wanted to review Julia Butterfly Hill’s book The Legacy of Luna quite some time ago and was reticent to do that when copies seemed scarce. Nevertheless, I happened upon my copy last weekend and determined I would write the review (which wanted to be written, afterall) and today I am delighted to report that copies are now apparently back in abundance and available on Amazon. Hurray! For this is truly a book that all nature lovers will most likely relate to, and cherish for all time. It’s also a profound story which deserves to be told and retold, as it is epic in scope and depth and intention and is an act so deep and profound and courageous and encouraging, now if ever, it needs to be told.
“Julia is a lightening rod 180 feet a top a giant redwood. She says, ‘No more old-growth redwoods should be cut…’ She’s the Joan of Arc of the redwoods.” ~Mickey Hart
I met Julia at a Bioneers Conference some years ago. I looked up, recognized her, and gently approached her, tears unexpectedly streaming down my cheeks, as I was so deeply moved to be meeting her. Inside my book she enscribed “For Kathryn, Thank you for understanding your power to change the world! Julia Butterfly Hill, October 21, 2000.” There is a heart next to her name.
By the time I met Julia it had been merely ten months since her feet had touched ground for the first time in over two years, when she descended from “Luna,” a thousand-year old redwood tree high on a hill in Humboldt County, California. Julia had climbed the tree 180 feet up to a rugged wooden platform in December of 1997, thinking she would be participating in a two-week “sit.” But out of her deep commitment to the salvation of the ancient redwoods and to the protesting of the practice of clear cutting our beloved forests, she lived on this small wooden platform for 738 days, eighteen stories off the ground, subjected to fierce life-threatening storms, helicopter harassment, and a ten-day siege against her by lumber company security guards who were determined to starve her out, impossible for any one of us to imagine.
“Tree sitting is a last resort. When you see someone in a tree trying to protect it, you know that every level of our society has failed. The consumers have failed, the companies have failed, and the government has failed.” ~Julia Butterfly Hill
Perhaps her being the daughter of a preacher gave her the background to commit and endure. Indeed, it is out of our deepest commitments to our vision for saving the Earth that such challenges do and will appear to us which require great fortitude and courage to sustain our chosen paths. Julia’s courageous path serves as an inspiration to those of us facing the continued worsening challenges on our beleaguered Earth today. When you don’t know where it’s going to come from you might turn to The Legacy of Luna to prevail.
“One day I was climbing around Luna and the fog slipped back to the coast, sunlight hit a spiderweb still glistening with drops of moisture. It shot these beautiful spectral colors in every direction. The diversity of life is like those strands of the spider’s web: the strands weaving together make the web strong and balanced and, even more amazing, make it beautiful as well.” ~ Julia Butterfly Hill
Julia Butterfly Hill
Most importantly of all this is a story of unconditional love, to which Julia turns again and again in the face of attacks from those determined to bring her, and Luna, down. And it was unconditional love she sought and cultivated as her role emerged in the international media as a spokesperson for what was happening in the depths of our forests.
I believe that such heroic figures are emerging in all parts of the world today as individuals are turning within to listen to their heart’s prompting. They are choosing their passions and stepping forward to help the emerging global community which we all must ultimately recognize and turn to in order to preserve this beautiful planet on which we live. It is nothing short of this, believe me. The Legacy of Luna was an early harbinger of what is required, and Julia Butterfly Hill’s story points the way.
Love and global blessings,
For more information on our beloved local woods, you might want to revisit this post Into the Woods. And for a very long, very thorough overview and update of the what is happening to California redwoods, check out National Geographic’s Redwood article.
Posted on January 5th, 2011 by Kathryn
Filed under: Book Notes