The Land Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself [Episode 23]

Paths lead us forward in acts of collective mark-making, while also leading us backwards into memory, as well as inwards, deeper into ourselves. In this one-year anniversary episode of the Woman Who Rubs the Mountain podcast, I reflect on this sense of pressing into the place where we live, all the while exposing overlapping intimacies between personal story and land story. This episode brings a deep curiosity to why we live where we do (out of all the places on the planet, why here?) And in what ways does this land already know who we are, what we could be, what we are moving towards?

I never seem to tire of these inquiries around place and how the land itself is dreaming us into being. Here are a few of the highlights from this episode:

  • I begin with a little storytelling about the namesake of the podcast, and how the constitution and personality of this Mountain where I live seems to expose quite a bit about my own.
  • Every place I’ve lived has taught me a lesson or guided me in some way. “Places, above all, reflect us back to ourselves. More than this, they teach us the many ways we might become in the world.” (Blackie)
  • What does “rubbing” mean (this has been the most popular question about the podcast so far). We explore experiences of eco-intimacy, practices in call-and-response, and noticing all the overlapping closeness, all that is trying to rub against us.
  • Just by moving our bodies in space we are pressing into the places we live, path-making in a way. We explore the rich history of creating trails, wondering what we are leaving in our wakes. And in return, how are the landscapes where we live pressing on us, living through us, creating passageways through our hearts and psyches?
  • "Thin places" draw me, places where the borders grow delicate and porous and we might feel a little closer to something much larger than ourselves.
  • Let us make a continued effort to invite the land, fungi, trees and so on, into the conversation, conversations about everything, but perhaps particularly about what matters most at this moment on this changing planet, matters of harm and reconciliation, matters of bone level meaning.


May we love and be loved in this continued homecoming with the place where we are. And you can keep this podcast healthy and well-nourished by leaving a review or subscribing to the podcast on-goingly from whatever your preferred listening source is. Please spread the word. You can always listen to past podcast episodes, send me a comment or story, or learn more about my work in general by going to



Mirrors in the Earth by Asia Suler

Thin Places: A Natural History of Healing and Home by Kerri ni Dochartaigh

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane

Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham