I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Outskirts Press
Parker, CO
Genre: Memoir/Spiritual/Environmental Commentary
Rating: Good
ISBN: 1432705547, $11.95, 228 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"In the late 1960s my parent purchased land northwest of Ft. Collins, Colorado. We named it Medicine Rock. I was not born there, but Medicine Rock was a birthplace for me; it was the beginning of consciousness and a place that continues to be vital for my becoming. The reflections of Medicine Rock presented here are like spring waters finally percolating through layers of rock and earth to reach the surface. Medicine Rock was a place where exposure to the elements shaped my inner landscapes to be attuned to the vital spiritual energy inherent in the natural world and to feel a deep connection with it. The place didn’t just grow on me; it grew in me. There was an unmistakable feeling of being a part of the greater whole that was instilled in me at a young age, the roots of which continued to grow deeper in my consciousness with each passing year. Will I ever get back to Medicine Rock? The manifestation of the life force I became aware of there is just as profound today, and I return to Medicine Rock each time I am out in the wilds."

Well, I’d say that Kyle Gardner’s writing is right up there with other environmentally-concerned/caring authors such as Barbara Kingsolver and Edward Abbey. Medicine Rock Reflections is part personal memoir, part spiritual journey, and part environmental commentary. It is a well-written and well-edited book, and allow me to share a small sample of Kyle’s writing with you, from page 13:

"The notion that nearness to nature keeps the spirit sensitive to impressions not commonly felt has also been suggested by John Muir’s implication of a chemical reaction. As Muir said when examining the spiritual impact of a wild place, "all that is required is exposure and purity of material because no earthly chemical is as sensitive as the human soul." Taking Muir’s insight just a small step further, the chemicals of the soul certainly must be receptive to the exposure to pure materials, because some chemicals, or souls, may not react even under the most perfect conditions. In my experience, the time at Medicine Rock provided the exposure to the natural world. The materials there, all the natural elements and then some, were as pure as I would imagine possible given the time of history. And for some reason, whether purposeful or otherwise, whether through genetic predispositions or family predilections, through soulful sensitivity, via dumb luck or some other reason, I had a reaction to what was afoot, a reaction that continues to send out reverberating waves decades later."

If you’re interested in environmental issues and reading about spiritual journeys, you just might be interested in this personal/historical memoir.