I admit to spending a good deal of time thinking about different ways to rewild that will strengthen my connection to the natural world. Ways in which I might learn how to become a part of the wild landscape that I am so drawn to, and in so doing, discover how it might change me; make me a little wilder, a little wiser, and allow my roots to anchor a little more deeply into the earth beneath my feet in such a way that I might begin to remember from where I did come. Today, I was privileged to engage in such an opportunity, with the help of Lionel Lauch Living Culture. (more…)
“Every Artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
-Henry Ward Beecher
Playing with sticks is something that I never quite packed away with the rest of my childhood activities. On my wanderings through the wilds, I’m always foraging along the forest floor looking for sticks that have fallen from the bough of a nearby Eucalypt or Blackwood. Weathered, gnarled, smooth, or bleached by rays of the sun to resemble the texture of bone, sticks for me, are something to be admired, touched, played with, and collected. (more…)
Connecting with nature is a way for us to understand more about ourselves, and delve deeper into who we are and how we fit in to the natural world around us. There are various practices that help facilitate this process, from the spiritual through to the ritual, but how often do we consider that engaging with nature on a creative level can bring about profound understanding of our own nature, as well as that of the other-than-human world that we share. (more…)
“Wild things prefer to remain wild. To honour a wild thing, converse with it on its terms, in its language, on its territory. Its gift might be to make you wilder.”
Bill Plotkin; Soulcraft – Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche
I am drawn to the words wild and wildness; intrigued by the number of different ways they are used in everyday language. But I have come to realise that they have a certain enigmatic quality to them that can make their meaning somewhat ambiguous, to my way of thinking. In the context of delving into the human-nature connection, I decided to seek out a more personal understanding of what wild and wildness entailed. (more…)
DAY THREE: The Power of Porridge, and Powdered Milk
I awoke to the sound of chatter in the school camp next to me. Porridge was on the menu from what I could gather, from the conversations that wafted over the noise of clanging pots and pans. I lay in bed, content, watching beads of rain occasionally roll down the outside of the tent fly. Rain had fallen on and off during the night, droplets of water pinging on the tent sounding like the twang of a rubber-band flicking on taut plastic.
I had no idea what time it was, only that it was morning. I sensed an overcast sky, but was too comfortable lying in my sleeping bag to contemplate unzipping it and opening the tent to find out. So I lay there, dozing occasionally, until I heard the words I had been waiting to hear: “OK guys, let’s go”. I waited, until all I could hear was the silence, tip-toeing back into camp and filling up all the empty spaces. Only then did I emerge from my tent, rustling leaves underfoot as I shuffled over to the Trangia to make my breakfast, with solitude, my only companion. (more…)
Below is my recount of Day Two on my first 3-day solo hike in Wisons Promontory National Park. You can catch up on Day One here.
A warning that this post breaks my rule of less than 1000 words!
DAY TWO: A Hard Lesson Learned
I awoke to the unfamiliar song of a forest bird; light, flutey notes that hung thread-like in the air, coming from somewhere in the tree canopy above my tent. I had that strange sensation that comes when you’re not sure exactly where you are. Seconds went by before I placed myself, aided by the now familiar sound of waves breaking and rolling rhythmically into shore.
I had slept well enough, but woke frequently to the sound of the waves coursing in to the cove; the mountains surrounding the cove bouncing the noise back across the still night, like a giant amplifier. I pictured the waves, forming, holding, breaking, then skimming gracefully across the top of the water, to reach the shore. As I lay awake, listening, I tried to imagine if the tide had come in again, the waves so loud they sounded as though they were right outside my tent door. My breathing rose and fell, keeping time with the rise and fall of the water. (more…)