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. These days, I go by my married name, Susan Knilans.

I also write a great deal about bees at my other website americanskep.wordpress.com).

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.

I keep a FaceBook page under my married name: Susan Knilans. I welcome you to follow me there, as well.