Encountering the Wild & Untamed
There's just something about an encounter with the wild and untamed that gets you. You know the you I'm talking about- the 'you-est' of you's that maybe only you know about. Standing with your toes in the ocean, on a rocky precipice or with your legs dangling from a tree you struggled up: there is a pure and raw sort of elation. It might be quiet but it is there. It's like we were made for this connectedness; to engage with our environment.
It's a funny old thing though, while we are inextricably part of our natural surroundings and unable to survive without it, we seem to treat the ground beneath our feet like it needs us. We control it, shape it, ignore it and at worst, unashamedly violate it. For us millennials climate change has been a buzz phrase for the most part of our growing up and one which we might just have become numb to. But oh boy do we need to take note because currently our relationship with our landscape is irrevocably damaging.
I say we buck the trend. That we disconnect from some of the riff-raff we fill our days with and those habits that don't honour our planet well and reconnect with our surrounds. The kick starter of the ecological movement, Rachel Carson nailed it when she said, "The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction."
Reconnecting with the wild means we will likely love it more wildly too.
Herein lies the plan: grab your rucksack, a bottle of water and head out there. Connect.
Even better, take a pair of scissors and a basket with you and link your environment with your plate too. My top wild time past time is just that- foraging; a rambling adventure with the hope of finding wild food. There are most certainly good and bad ways to forage though so bear these in mind when you head out adventuring: take scissors with you so you cut the plant and not uproot it- ensuring its sustainability; baskets allow your finds to stay in the open air with the spread of the load meaning they will keep better and not sweat; only use what you are SURE is safe- it's never worth the risk and there are a lot of plants that have dark and deadly family members; never take more than you need or completely rid a patch of wild plants (this makes foraging unsustainable) and don't forage on other people's property- people aren't fans of trespassers it turns out.
It's a blissful satisfaction supping on a cuppa (or cocktail) infused with wild peppermint leaves or flowers you found, making a tart with wild spinach and greens or simply adding stumbled upon lavender to your homemade bakes. Flipping fast food on its head and making it slow- making it wild; it's good for our planet and pretty sweet for your 'you-est' you too.
For planet and for people, let's go all in for cultivating a culture which is against the grain, for the green, and takes thing slow. That's for connecting with the ground beneath our feet; loving it and adventuring with it in equal and brilliant measure.
*First published over at Conteu Magazine