Dr Sally Bell

Book recommendation by Dr Sally Bell

God is an Octopus: Loss, Love and a Calling to Nature by Ben Goldsmith

After meeting Ben Goldsmith at a recent retreat and hearing him talk, I left compelled to read his book and binge-listen to his recent podcast. It was not only his story that caught my imagination and touched my heart; it was the countenance of love with which he spoke and a tenderness born out of tragedy.

This book is a beautiful story interweaving a journey of grief, nature and spirituality, which I devoured over a weekend.

It follows the raw and palpable grief of a father losing his 15 ½ years old daughter through a farming accident on the family farm.

Trying to make sense of his grief, he pursues answers from diverse individuals with different spiritual ideologies. Reading these encounters, while the pain of his suffering was always just below the surface, was refreshing as they come without judgment, a generous and respectful curiosity and no sense of manipulation.

Interwoven is a parallel story of his longer-standing love for nature, the grief and passion for nature's devastating loss over the past few decades equally as palpable at times. The search for solutions allows the reader to hear of courageous ventures that testify to nature's incredible healing ability.

As hope is born in his grief, a story of nature's urgent restoration also takes on new form and energy.

This book engaged my heart, intellect and soul. While I felt his grief, I finished it with the hope and well-placed optimism that radiated through the pages. It called out my courage and lifted my eyes to a new horizon.

And if you want to find out more about rewilding, listen to Ben's podcast, Rewild the World.

Sally xx

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