Cultivating a sense of wonder is a healing thing. Wonder is medicine. And Nature evokes wonder if we allow her into our daily lives.

Hello friends. I’m Susan Chernak McElroy, author of “Animals as Teachers and Healers” and a host of other books that explore our sacred and “wonder-filled” relationships with animals and nature. I write to entice people into an unexpectedly deeper relationship with all of our relations: Furred, winged, leafy, and all the rest. I blog with stories, tips, and projects for expressing that deeper relationship close to home.

For the first time in my adult life, I now live “close in,” in a small 1930 mill house a few short blocks from the center of town. I don’t cross paths with buffalo or flying squirrels anymore. My wild relatives are the regular assortment of backyard birds, possums, stray cats, and raccoons. We named our new little house “MillHaven” in honor of her history. The uppermost part of our yard I call “BeeHaven,” home to my six backyard honeybee hives.

These days, I live in Eden-in-the-making, where most of us do. We live on small plots of hopeful ground that are waiting for us to befriend them.

Nature is not just where you find her. She is anywhere and everywhere you welcome her. This site explores some of the ways we can extend an inviting hand to wild Creation, from projects to simple perceptual shifts. I’ll share practical and magical ideas here for creating sacred space, from making bucket ponds to cultivating wild superfoods (we call them weeds) to welcoming your wild relations. And yes, you can build Eden on a balcony.

My own backyard eden

I believe with all my heart that the most important thing we can do to help Nature in these crazy times is to start befriending our own dirt, our own small backyard wonders that are calling out for some heartfelt, hands-on restoration.

Most of the information you find here will be nestled in my current MUSINGS AND STORIES (and an occasional impassioned rant or two). And I welcome photos and stories of your own small enchanted nooks! Your participation is what makes this village hum. Look HERE to meet some of our talented village members and special friends.

There is a small SHOP here for books and beehives , and an always-expanding RESOURCE SECTION of sites, books, and people I’ve found helpful along the way.