During an Autumn visit to Tryon Farm, a sustainable collective farm community in Indiana, my six year old daughter and her best friend were talking about their American Girl dolls (a brand that had its heart in the right place when it began, but now just seems to promote needless consumption to little girls) and homemade computers and cellphones. Yes, homemade, out of cardboard with detailed hand drawings of screens and keyboards, a longing for access to technology that has inundated and permeated every ounce of our culture. And their conversation was killing me, listening to this prattle about stuff, longing to have more junk to clutter up their lives, craving computers and phones because this is what they see around them. They see other kids with mountains of toys, they see adults always on computers or people picking up their phones constantly to communicate or check on this or that. They want to be a part of the action too. Even though they are not kids with an excessive glut of belongings, even though they deeply value and cultivate intimate relationships with dolls they have spun identities and adventures for, even though they were innovative enough to make their own versions of what adults have and pretend to use said things, I needed the conversation to shift deeply and so we had to stop, to inhale into our surroundings, to be quiet, to listen and then sink deeply into our experience of the there and then, without straying back into our world beyond that moment. I needed all of us to have the chance to be present where we were at that very moment because it is such a unique and rare opportunity when you live in the rhythm of the urban globalized world to connect to nature. And so I enforced a rule, just for those two hours while we walked, that they had to open their eyes to where they were, that they were not allowed to talk about any brand or thing that they wanted, that they were not allowed to talk about phones or computers, but instead see what was around them, explore their immediate surroundings, gather leaves, find something to collect, ignite a little of the magic that is in the dirt at our feet. The rest of the walk, was, well, pretty darn fabulous. There was silence and wonder and curiosity and collecting of acorns and little berries and discussions of building things and awe at nests we saw, and a deep listening to the sounds of animal rustles and tumult in the thicket. It was magic that planted a seed of reminder, planted a memory to come back to, a space of understanding that this is the land we come from and man oh man do we want it to be here for us, to feed us when we are hungry.