Conversations with the Wise: Julia Butterfly Hill

James Baraz interviewed Julia Butterfly Hill, an environmental activist best known for having lived in an ancient redwood tree for more than two years in the late 1990s. She is the author of “The Legacy of Luna” and “A Course in Courage”:

“I feel fear, but I don’t let my fear stop me. I feel rage and anger because that’s my natural response to places and people and animals I love being decimated. I feel all of these feelings that are part of the human experience but what we choose to do with those feelings makes all the difference. What’s going on now [in America] is putting things right in front of people’s faces and we have to deal with it. It’s so egregious that we really can’t stick our heads in the sand. I’ve learned to not let what’s happening in life or my head stop me from doing what’s possible. When our hearts are willing to break open—to crack—and grief comes pouring out, the container is expanding and we have more room.

“Right now it’s painful. An automatic reaction is we want to go insular, we want to close down as a self-protective measurement and yet our world, our earth, our children’s future need us to be willing to crack open. The world needs our love more than ever.”

For the full conversation go to and click on “Conversations with the Wise.”