Norton Nearly’s real name is not Norton Nearly, but that is the name he creates under in honor of his grandmothers whose maiden names were Norton and Nierle. Originally from Northeastern, Pennsylvania, Norton is a long-time Delaware resident. He is a man of the trees, having wandered the woods for over fifty years. A nature lover and outdoor enthusiast, he has camped in remote forests and deep hollows, backpacked, hiked and mountain biked trails allover the east coast, kayaked rivers, lakes and estuaries and rafted rivers in NY, NJ, MD, VA,PA, WV, and the mighty Colorado. Norton bicycled thousands of miles and once flew an ultralight plane over the Chesapeake Bay. Norton has explored the wilds of Ireland, Jamaica and Canada and has been fortunate to meet interesting characters all along the way.
Norton comes from a creative family who’s his heritage is steeped in Celtic, Germanic, and Norse traditions. Norton’s paternal ancestors, ship carvers and storytellers, hailed from County Sligo, Ireland. Sligo, a beautiful area is home to ancient sites, spectacular scenery, and a poet or two. Norton’s Fourth Great Grandfather, Cormac Kilgannon farmed the ground of Split Rock of Fionn MacCumhail (Finn McCool) fame. Finn, the most famous of Irish Giants, is said to have challenged another giant in a competition of throwing huge boulders from the Ox Mountains into the sea. Finn's fell short. Annoyed with himself, Finn rushed down, drew his sword, and struck the boulder with rage, splitting it in half. As the story goes, anyone can walkthrough the crack of Split Rock two times, but if someone should try a third time, it will slam shut killing the person. Norton visited Split Rock in 2016 and survived.
Norton’s maternal ancestors were explorers and wanderers, and at least one was a wood carver and furniture maker. They traveled over time throughout Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, finally settling in the Black Forest Region in what is now Germany. Home to many of the Brother’s Grimm’s tales as well as elves, dwarves and witches, The Black Forest was known for valuable wood and strange happenings. One ancestor, Gustave Adolph Nierle never had a permanent address, supposedly having joined the Prussian Army at ten years old. Another, Otto, was a professional boxer and traveling strongman entertainer who held a team of horses with a bit in his teeth.
Norton’s ancestors led him to a path of study in Celtic, Germanic, and Norse mythology, spirituality, and symbology. He completed coursework at the Bardic Grade with The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, and finished several courses in Ancient Celtic Myth and Religion and the ancient language of Ogam. Norton is a passionate nature lover who has cultivated an understanding and appreciation of some of the more esoteric gains a person can make through relationships with nature and specifically trees.
Norton seeks the answer to the simple question, “Why”. Why is all this swirling around us and where do we fit into it. We have many names for where answers may be found - God, goddess, spirit, energy, source, creator, guide, and others. Norton sees a connection in everything with humans deeply a part of it all. Nature and our beloved trees are critical aspects of this oneness. Norton follows a truth-seeking path toward self-realization and enlightenment, with creativity one aspect of that path.