John Francis Interview in Yes! Magazine

This is a an excerpt from John’s interview featured by Yes! Magazine. Click here to read the full article.

It was 22 years before I rode in motorized vehicles again, but during the years and miles of walking I experienced the most unexpected transformations and discoveries: I had taken a 17-year vow of silence while walking across the United States, and earned three degrees, including a doctorate in environmental studies from the Nelson Institute. After reaching the East Coast, I served as a federal environmental analyst and project manager to help write oil transportation and cleanup regulations following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. But perhaps even more important than the formal education and professional positions were the informal moments that came from walking in the natural environment that I was a part of, and the thousands of people that I met who became a part of me. Such moments provided many opportunities for learning, comprised of chance roadside meetings, being welcomed into the homes of strangers, being treated as a family friend, listening fully to different music and different points of view, and being on the receiving end of unanticipated kindness. There may be no better way to engage the environment than to walk in it and be among ourselves, letting nature shape us, to be fully human, in a more than human world.

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