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To Speak for the Trees

My Life's Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest
Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

2019 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award

Canadian botanist, biochemist, and visionary Diana Beresford-Kroeger's startling insights into the hidden life of trees have already sparked a quiet revolution in how we understand our relationship to forests. Now, in a captivating account of how her life led her to these illuminating and crucial ideas, she shows us how forests can not only heal us but save the planet.

When Diana Beresford-Kroeger - whose father was a member of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy and whose mother was an O'Donoghue, one of the stronghold families who carried on the ancient Celtic traditions - was orphaned as a child, she could have been sent to the Magdalene Laundries. Instead, the O'Donoghue elders, most of them scholars and freehold farmers in the Lisheens valley in County Cork, took her under their wing. Diana became the last ward under the Brehon Law. Over the course of three summers, she was taught the ways of the Celtic triad of mind, body, and soul. This included the philosophy of healing, the laws of the trees, Brehon wisdom, and the Ogham alphabet, all of it rooted in a vision of nature that saw trees and forests as fundamental to human survival and spirituality. 

Already a precociously gifted scholar, Diana found that her grounding in the ancient ways led her to fresh scientific concepts. Out of that huge and holistic vision have come the observations that put her at the forefront of her field: the discovery of mother trees at the heart of a forest; the fact that trees are a living library, have a chemical language and communicate in a quantum world; the major idea that trees heal living creatures through the aerosols they release and that they carry a great wealth of natural antibiotics and other healing substances; and, perhaps most significantly, that planting trees can actively regulate the atmosphere and the oceans, and even stabilize our climate.

This book is not only the story of a remarkable scientist and her ideas, it harvests all of her powerful knowledge about why trees matter, and why trees are a viable, achievable solution to climate change. Diana eloquently shows us that if we can understand the intricate ways in which the health and welfare of every living creature is connected to the global forest, and strengthen those connections, we will still have time to mend the self-destructive ways that are leading to drastic fires, droughts, and floods.

©2019 Diana Beresford-Kroeger (P)2019 Random House Canada

What the critics say

“In her youth in Ireland, Diana Beresford-Kroeger received an extraordinary and unique education in traditional Celtic plant lore. At university in Canada, she specialized in biochemistry and merged what she learned and observed into her signature studies of trees, augmented by First Nation forest wisdom. This autobiography of learning ways to heal the damaged earth and break the tightening grip of climate crisis offers a rational and inclusive way to keep our future.” (Annie Proulx, author of The Shipping News)

“Diana Beresford Kroeger has given readers a rare gift: an inspiring tale about trees, trauma and the very purpose of life. Her Celtic story works on you like a good walk in a pine forest: You can’t help but feel invigorated afterwards.” (Andrew Nikiforuk, award-winning journalist)
 

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A beautiful gift

Thank you Diana Beresford-Kroeger for sharing your story and knowledge. What a treat to listen to! The recording is clear and of great quality. There are no bells / whistles / musical interludes. Ms. Beresford-Kroeger's voice is clear and easy to follow. I bought this book on a whim without reading the description properly as I love anything to do with forests. I was unprepared for how her story and knowledge has touched me. I now pledge to learn the Irish Gaelic alphabet and memorise and apply tree knowledge to my own life! If you are fascinated with forests, plants, biology, ancient cultural knowledge and stories of human resilience this book is for you. I can't say enough about it. I am very sad that I reached the end of this book and can't wait to read more from her. A fantastic and generous addition to the library of humanity.

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Amazing! A must read!

Is the best book I have read and listen to by far in a very long time probably ever as an Irish person it’s wonderful to hear about the lost and colonized world of the Irish if you’re interested in your own roots as an Irish person or as a Pegan I would definitely recommend this book also if you are interested in health foraging and holistic healing this book I would recommend with highest esteem. Thank you Diana for your beautiful work I hope that you continue to share more druid wisdom culture lost and still well alive and theSecrets of our ancestors

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Excellent Listen

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about the old folk ways of Ireland, druidry, herbalism/plant medicines, getting to know and understand the plant peoples and to listen to a beautiful story narrated by the author herself. Moving, insightful, and full of wisdom, this book is up there in my list of books worth having both physical and audio copies of so that I can share it with others. Simply beautiful.

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Incredible book, Loved it!

I loved listening to this book, the author did an amazing narration and everything she talks about is fascinating. I am looking forward to listening to it again. Thank you for sharing your words with us Diana!

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Profound.

This woman is a true Heroine. Her words, and humble yet powerful offerings and suggestions, could alter the future, for a possiblity of thriving on this blessed planet. Please read this.

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  • Penrose
  • 2020-01-26

Ancient Wisdom Growing on Living Land

In her charming Irish voice DB-K reads her magical life's story with the resulting compendium of botanical hea!ing know!edge coming through her lineage of Celtic and Druidic bloodlines, p!us a lifetime of diligent scientific study, research, and experimentation. Highly recommended.

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