The Geography of Belonging
A Love Story
An unexpected liaison with an African horseman builds a courageous and tender-strong bridge across classic cultural divides. The backdrop is present-day Zimbabwe in all its political, economic and ecological complexities. Oriane Lee Johnston's memoir takes the reader from her Cortes island home on the west coast of Canada into southern Africa as it is today, exploring ethical relations with land, with culture, the sacred and the human heart. The story follows an inner call to the Mavuradonha Mountains in the eastern edge of the Zambezi Escarpment. The quest to preserve this wild and unspoiled bioregion parallels the campaign to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, the author's birthplace in coastal B.C. Horses are the wise guides, drawing Oriane Lee to Africa, giving her a purpose and a way of engaging deeply with people and wild places. A trusted ally throughout is a Buddhist meditation practice that rouses courage, compassion and openness to the unknown in her grandmotherly time of life. The love story with Stephen Hambani is a luminous thread that weaves an inadvertent testament to Black Lives Matter. The Geography of Belonging is about longing and loss, commitment and impermanence, about the ethics of generosity and raises questions of identity for a 6th generation Canadian as she maps an intimate journey through the terrain of the heart, the body and the earth. 'Absolutely no doubt about this, Oriane Lee Johnston is a gifted writer. Her memoir reveals, with anguished directness at times, the longing for identity after a dramatic life-shift. An everywoman story is told here, except that few sixty-year old women would dream of risking so much. Oriane Lee Johnston breaks free of expectations, follows her dream, dives into a new world in Africa, where finds a new culture, new landscapes, significant new interests and an unexpected and tender love affair. The reader applauds her, is intimidated by and in awe of her courage, her openness to experience, and her many very real gifts of character. This is a lovely, deeply touching and above all, a serious book about the possibilities of life that many of us close ourselves off to, far too soon." --Sharon Butala, author of Perfection of the Morning Oriane Lee Johnston lives on Cortes Island, in the west coast temperate rain forest of BC, Canada. Horses have taken her riding in the sacred mountains of Ecuador, swimming in the Indian Ocean, on safari into the Okavango Delta of Botswana and the wilderness of Zimbabwe, and to the legendary wild herds of the Nemaiah Valley in BC's Chilcotin Country. As former program director for Hollyhock Leadership Centre, Oriane Lee introduced Compassion in Action retreats for environmental and social justice advocates and activists.
If the product is in stock at the store nearest you, we suggest you call ahead to have it set aside for you, or you may place an order online and choose in-store pickup.