About Erik Stensland
“Love all God’s creation, both the whole and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of light. Love the animals, love the plants, love each separate thing. If you love each thing you will perceive the mystery of God in all; and when once you perceive this, you will thenceforward grow every day to a fuller understanding of it: until you come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.”
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
When I was five years old my dad told me that if I sprinkled salt on the tail of a bear that it would follow me home. As a result of his dubious advice, much of my early childhood was spent exploring the mountainous terrain around our Montana home with saltshaker in hand. During these years the wilderness found its way into some deep place within me and became a central part of my life. The solitude, the silence and the sense of connection with something much greater than myself has drawn me ever since.
After college I spent about a decade living in Europe's Balkan Peninsula with my wife Joanna. Years of high stress during this period led to severe burnout. In pursuit of restoration I jumped at an opportunity to move to the mountains of Colorado at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. There, on quiet trails, surrounded by beauty and solitude, my soul began to recover.
I decided to make a career of hiking and so became a professional nature photographer. As I hiked the many trails of the national park both day and night in pursuit of unique images, I came back to life and found myself overflowing with things I wanted to write about. This led me to become a writer and also a publisher. This time in the wild continues to impress on me that we all need more solitude, stillness, silence, and beauty in our lives.