Dawn Again: Tracking the Wisdom of the Wild
BY Doniga Markegard
“The wolf was so close now… Approaching the place where the edge of the forest met the open meadow, I paused before stepping out from the shadows of the trees. The sun was directly overhead. In that moment I stood frozen in my tracks next to the fresh footprint of the wolf that had led me here. I was sharing this trail with the wolf and I did not want the moment to end. I wanted that wolf to be with me forever.”
– from Chapter Seven, “Pack”
Through the Pacific Northwest forests and along the rugged coastal shores of California, Dawn Again: Tracking the Wisdom of the Wild is a memoir of exploration and survival.
Dawn Again takes readers along on Doniga’s journey: the wilderness immersion school where Indigenous elders and wildlife trackers were among her teachers, hitchhiking across the pacific northwest, the moment she first connected with a deer using owl eyes and fox walking techniques, and to Alaska where she fell in love with tracking white wolves and the rigor of wilderness survival.
With chapters on food, permaculture, and more, Dawn Again dives into Doniga’s real-life experiences while equipping readers with practical knowledge. When Doniga tracks mountain lions with Erik, a rancher, she finds herself falling in love with more than just nature. She settles down on a cattle ranch on the California coast to start a family, and has to learn how to apply the deep, unshakeable lessons of the wild to her everyday life.
“With curiosity, tenacity, and a free-fall dive into the ragged business of real live nature, Doniga has given us an instruction booklet on how to get in touch with our best selves, through getting in touch with the earth. Dawn Again is filled with magic Doniga has made real, down to earth, and attainable, to varying degrees, to anyone.”
– Joan Baez
“Doniga Markegard’s journey from teen runaway to expert tracker and on to mother, rancher and activist artfully conveys what it means to be fully alive to the natural world. She observes, “It appears that it’s up to humans to remember, right now, what it means to be humans.” Dawn Again is a beautiful reminder that human survival and human joy—being human—derive from our connection to plants, animals and the earth itself. Her story offers readers inspiration and direction.”
– Judith D. Schwartz, author of Water in Plain Sight and Cows Save the Planet
“Dawn Again is a deeply personal, touching, and intimate journey that opens a window into a hidden universe of exquisite natural beauty. With poetic prose and keen insights, Doniga Markegard gives us invaluable insights to heal our souls and our world.”
– Josh Tickell, author of Kiss the Ground and director of Fuel
“Doniga’s love for the natural world—its animals, birds, plants and soil—shines brilliantly through the words in this frank and engaging memoir. Her intimacy with the interconnection of all life, however, goes far beyond words, for she has genuinely LIVED it, with authenticity, passion, determination, and an open heart.”
– Paul Rezendes, Author of Tracking & the Art of Seeing and The Wild Within
“Doniga’s personal journey from uncertain teen to one of North America’s foremost regenerative farmers is inspiring and enlightening. By recounting her own wilderness immersion, animal tracking, and farming experiences, she deftly traces a line from the incredible complexity of nature’s wisdom to humanity’s vital role as ecologically responsible stewards of the land.”
– Allan Savory, author of Holistic Management, Third Edition: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore Our Environment.
“Our health and the health of the planet itself begins with the soil. Dawn Again, with its beautiful exploration of Doniga’s connection with nature and her joyful practice of sustainable farming—nourishing both her community and the ground we all depend on—will inspire all readers to tend to the soils in their own backyards.”
– Diana Rodgers, RD, author of The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook
“Earth care comes alive in this deeply moving personal story. With prose good enough to be called poetry, Doniga captures and explains the heart and soul of creation stewardship, bringing us on a profound journey of awakening and awareness.”
– Joel Salatin
Doniga Markegard has a background in wildlife tracking, holistic management and permaculture. Along with her husband Erik and four children, Doniga lives on a coastal ranch in San Gregorio, CA. Doniga is passionate about finding ways to regenerate lands and community through practices that build soil, sequester carbon, capture and purify water and enhance habitat. Doniga has an immense passion for the natural world and helping others live a life of balance with the earth and all living things, leading a life of example where her own actions are deliberated into the health of the future generations.