Hello my friends and welcome to the Earth Voices website! This website is dedicated to bringing you the most relevant, inspiring, and up to date information possible in the world of Tracking today.
Why a Website about Tracking?
I believe that Tracking is a critical skill in today’s world. We’re living in a time period where people are more disconnected from the Earth than ever before. In our increasing reliance on technology and industry as a society, we’ve unintentionally put distance between ourselves and the natural rhythms of life brought to us by living a simple existence in harmony with what the Earth provides. This disconnection manifests in the form of anger, frustration, depression, and deep feelings of loneliness and regret. Even if only on a subconscious level, it’s my belief that all of us search to reestablish our relationship to the Earth in order to feel whole as human beings.
Why do I feel this way?
I can say from personal experience in my own journey in Tracking as well as having had the opportunity to watch thousands of students in theirs, that Tracking is the most practical, efficient, and transformative way to regain a profound connection with the natural environment. Tracking, particularly when paired with Wilderness Survival, offers a direct and immediate connection to the Earth in the most powerfully intimate way possible. Through these skills, we rekindle the fires of awareness and move to a deep and harmonious relationship with ourselves, each other and the planet.
So, here’s a little about me…..
I grew up under fairly normal circumstances as a white, middle-class American male in Portsmouth, NH. What I mean to say is that besides having a stable and loving family life(increasingly rare these days), I never had the typical “mythological mentor” that many would expect. There was no tribal elder that took me for long trips into wilderness, nor were their any fantastic events which occurred in my life where I had nothing to depend on but my own innate strengths of character which would develop as a result of tough experiences.
I played sports, I went to school, I took fishing trips with my family in the summers. I didn’t even discover a love for the outdoors until my late teenage years. By the time I was 19, I would have cited my first true outdoor bathroom experience “sans toilet paper” when I was 18 as a “major psychological obstacle” I had overcome while “roughing it.”
The reason I mention this, is because I want you to know that besides patience and dedication, Tracking doesn’t really require some type of special quality or amazing life circumstances. In other words, I’m a normal guy- If I can do this, so can you!
After high school, I attended Annapolis, intent on “making something of myself” and subsequently became a Marine Infantry Officer upon graduation. The Marines was a great career choice for me at the time, and I can say I enjoyed it thoroughly having been assigned to an Infantry unit in Hawaii, serving at Boot Camp in San Diego, and then deploying for about 7 months to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After almost 8 years of service, however, I knew it was time for a change, and all I could think of was that the part of the job I enjoyed the most was being outside.
After Active Duty Service, I had planned to hike around the country for a year before starting a Graduate School when I took a Standard class from Tom Brown, Jr, at the Tracker School. After that one week, I immediately found the connection to Earth and nature I had sought since my earliest camping trip.
I ended up staying at Tracker School for years afterward, learning tracking at every opportunity, many times under Tom’s personal supervision, and eventually becoming the Tracking Instructor. The importance of Tracker School in my life and the teachings of Tom’s mentor, Apache Elder Stalking Wolf, cannot be overstated. Tom Brown is still both teacher and friend, and I am proud to carry on Stalking Wolf’s Vision of teaching the Philosophy of Living with the Earth to anyone interested.
What I learned from this…
To me, Tracking brings us to such a profound and intimate connection to both self and environment that I struggle finding the words which adequately express it. It not only provides us with a template to understand and work with the natural world, it also connects us to a lineage of Ancient Trackers extending far back both into the past and into our own genes as a species. As well, it provides us with a template with which to live our lives into the future. As the real possibility of a post-petroleum society looms ahead, with natural resources potentially becoming less prevalent, the relevancy of Tracking and Earth-based skills becomes even more apparent to me and most others I meet.
If nothing else, Tracking appealed to me because I found something I was looking for. It was something I couldn’t find anywhere else-a real and vital connection to Nature. So many people I meet are interested in finding the same things. At this point, I can say from experience that a practice of Tracking has been transformative in my life and the lives of so many others I’m fortunate to meet.
Why Earth Voices?
To truly enjoy the fruits of a practice of Tracking, one has to experience it, and this is why Earth Voices, LLC was founded-to bring the skills of Tracking, Nature Awareness, and Living with the Earth to as many people as possible. It’s my belief that a practice of Tracking brings us to a highly sophisticated awareness of the outside world. After just a little time, this awareness of the outside world brings us to an awareness of the internal world inside of ourselves. Therefore, through Tracking, we develop a very real and strong connection to the Earth, each other, and all things on this planet providing us with the best possible foundation to build a healthy and happy future as a species. If you are at all interested in re-connecting your relationship to yourself or to the Earth, I highly recommend practicing Tracking as the most direct route to do so. You won’t be disappointed.
Happy Tracking to you all and I hope to see you sometime soon!