The Ethos of Wild

“We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as “wild.” Only to the white man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land “infested” with “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame.” Chief Luther Standing Bear
I am looking to be in nature in a way that is not about as Aldo Leopold put it ” capture and carry away” or “the idea of trophy”. But I wonder, can we go into a wild and just be? To a plant or animal a wild is life. Can we be in a wild as a plant or animal? Can it be life to us? Or is just a place we go to capture something and then retreat? It is already my practice to stop thinking as soon as I enter a wild. I try to be there only to observe and listen. I am there to connect to the life around me and to be aware that I am alive. I like to be aware I share with all other living things the soil, the air, the water, the sun and the food it produces. I am aware there is both life and death. I am aware there is both refuge and danger. I will never be a hunter so am not going to extract animal “trophies”, though I do sometimes extract a fish from the wild. My food will continue to come from agriculture which while not wild is still from nature. I do take photos and Leopold includes photography as a form of “capture”, though he does say it is “innocuous” as nature does not “suffer” from the taking of photos. My next challenge is to go into a wild without my camera. I also want to offer a class I would call The Ethos of Wild where all this and more can be discussed and experienced with others while in out in a wild.

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