David Gessner had always known of John Hay. A nature writing legend, Hay was a hero to the younger writer. But it wasn't until Gessner returned to his childhood home on Cape Cod that he befriended the older man. At first, Gessner thought he might write Hay's biography. But that idea gradually changed as the two talked and walked through the fifty acres surrounding Hay's house on Dry Hill. The book that resulted is a dramatic record of what the younger man learned from his elder.
The Prophet of Dry Hill is the compelling story of two men and the year they spent together. But more than a book about friendship, it's a lyrical primer on the importance of living a life connected to the wild. John Hay has lived deeply on one piece of land for sixty years. As a consequence, he has much to tell Gessner-and us-about the importance of creating a strong relationship with the land we live on. His words speak to our forgotten need for space and for reaching beyond ourselves to the world outside. Seeing is the great discipline that nature teaches, Hay proclaims. Nature, not psychology, is the path to our true selves.
In our split-second world, a life like John Hay's-rooted, connected to nature-provides a radical counterpoint to our technology-filled indoor existences. Gessner learned much from this man on the hill. We too will be challenged and changed.