“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.