Donna aimlessly daydreams of pulling up stakes and starting a new life, but never imagines a chance encounter with a new man will lead her to make a wild, impetuous decision that catapults her on a soul-changing journey.
Living in the Amazon rainforest where a host of curious jungle creatures visit her jungle shack, she narrowly dodges disaster on a raging river, gets lost in a tropical swamp, and is struck down by a tormenting tropical disease. But none of that compares to what happens when she embarks on a scientific field trip that unexpectedly alters the course of her life.
Tested mentally, physically and spiritually, Donna feels lost in the wilderness, but it is hard for her to be lost when pure joy pounds in her heart and she discovers the way to live her one precious life.
Despite being accosted by angry ants and battling inclement weather, she begins work from a tree platform where she captures rare moments in the lives of wild animals, befriends a water-loving agouti, and forms a special bond with a tree, which convinces her it was her wild self who coerced her to travel over ten thousand miles so that it could unleash itself.
Written with laugh-out-loud humour and deep compassion, Donna poignantly captures the isolation, challenges, and true beauty of the rainforest where she literally rises above the limitations of her once modern life.
“The big takeaway for me is the fact none of us knows the direction life will take us. It is only when we open our heart and eyes that opportunities present themselves. Bravo to all who have the courage to travel the meandering lane to the unknown.”—Ron Melchiore, Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness
“Deeply personal, moving, funny, and satisfying ... Reading Donna Mulvenna is like having a heart-to-heart with your best friend about the things that truly matter.”—Jessica Groenendijk, The Giant Otter: Giants of the Amazon
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About the Author
For four years she wrote from a platform high in the canopy where various wildlife became her daily companions. Through her writing she hopes to give readers a glimpse of the wonder she discovered in the rainforest, reveal the profound effect it has on people's lives, and share why it is more important than ever to reconnect with the natural world.
'Nobody leaves the Amazon rainforest unchanged,' says Donna, when explaining why she no longer feels the need to own a mobile phone, buy material possessions, or wear shoes. When not writing or gardening, she can be found sitting under a tree reading, or paddling along a river in her sprint canoe.
Donna is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers, and the author of Happiness is Green, Wild Roots-Coming Alive in the French Amazon, and The Awe of Nature. She co-authored All Things Breathe Alike: A Wildlife Anthology, and is the co-editor of Tales of the River.
"Happiness does find us," she says. "We just have to slow down and lighten our load a little. Only when we give ourselves space, do we discover the wonder and awe in our natural world, and in the process gain a true sense of who we are, why we are here, and where we are heading."
Table of Contents
1. Heading west
2. As tough as nails
3. Red Diamond
5. Gone bush
6. Ecstasy in the rainforest
About the author