On the Edge of Wild

by Nancy Lankston

As luck would have it, there is a trail near my mountain home that runs through untamed open space around the closest mountain. It is so close that Dog Goddess Brigid and I walk over to hike the trail quite often.  When the dog and I first ventured onto this open space trail, both of us were nervous. It is a bit wilder than the places we used to hike in and around Boulder and Lyons.

We rarely see more than a few other people on this trail. The neighbors claim that there are mountain lions and bears in the area, and occasionally a small dog or cat gets eaten in the neighborhood. But Brigid and I have yet to see anything but deer and elk. But still, it is wild. We are definitely NOT in a tame suburb anymore.

My pioneer ancestors would probably laugh and roll their eyes at the idea that a few thousand acres of untamed forest bounded by houses is wild. They lived in a time and place where Nature’s wildness extended for miles in every direction. But this open space is about as wild as it gets these days in the lower 48.  Most of wild America has been civilized right out of existence.  I personally don’t think that’s a good thing.

Even a tiny bit of wild has an amazing effect on me. I find myself growing more alert and watchful as I hike through wild spaces.  I revert to ancient mammalian ways of sensing and tracking every little thing that is happening around me. I slow down and notice so much. I attune to the weather, watching the clouds and feeling when the wind shifts. I pick up the movements of the birds and the deer in the brush around me. I become animal alert.

I also seem to slowly synchronize with the forest when I hike; I synch up with the trees and the stream and the boulders on the hillside. My husband and I joke that we like to keep hiking until our minds get clear and calm, no matter how many miles it takes. The wild places do speak to the human body in a primal, non-verbal way. In some deep dark recess of my psyche, I seem to remember being truly wild and living in the forest with the other wild creatures. My body remembers this wild state and it loves it.

The boreal forest near my home is so different from the frantic busyness of modern civilization. It seems almost eerily quiet at first. But there is so much life going on just beyond the trail if I choose to pay attention. As I walk, the wild energies of the forest calm and rejuvenate me somehow. Walking for an hour in the wild is my elixir; it drains the craziness of my modern plugged-in life right out of me.

I believe that the wildness of Nature is a cure for much of what ails us. So much would shift and change on this planet, if only we would spend some time out into the wild places, synching our bodies up with forest, prairie, desert or sea.  

I have one big wish that I hold close to my heart; I hope that you get the chance to be in Nature and fall in love with wildness again. Mama Earth is always out there, just beyond the next bend in the trail. She is waiting to teach you and change you in deep, primal ways that defy words.

Get out there.

Mirrored in Nature

“Our truest nature to fully connect, heal, and grow is to be
mirrored by something that reflects our full essence.
I believe the natural world is that ideal mirror.”

~ Regina M Powers

🌎❤️

Blessings of Beltane

Life bursts forth
Flowing all around
Tiny green buds
First flowers of spring
Magical new Life.

Ancient dance
Fertile dance
Yin & Yang unite
Life blooms
With natural joy.

☾☽

May Day, or Beltane, is the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. This date marked the beginning of summer for the ancient Celts. It was a day of dance and song – a celebration in gratitude for fertile fields sprouting with new life.

Blessings to our beautiful Earth on this magical Beltane cross-quarter day. So grateful for our original Mama, the planet who birthed us all.

🌍 ❤️

Love of Country

“As I grew to understand the gifts of the earth, I couldn’t understand how ‘love of country’ could omit recognition of the actual country itself.

The only promise it requires is to a flag. What of the promises to each other and to the land?

What would it be like to be raised on gratitude, to speak to the natural world as a member of the democracy of the species, to raise a pledge of interdependence?

No declarations of political loyalty are required, just a response to a repeated question:

Can we agree to be grateful for all that is given?

… What happens to nationalism, to political boundaries, when allegiance lies with winds and waters that know no boundaries, that cannot be bought or sold?”

~Robin Wall Kimmerer,
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
🌍 ❤️

Be Like a Tree

Be like a tree.
Stay grounded. Connect with your roots.
Turn over a new leaf. Bend before you break.
Enjoy your unique beauty. Keep growing. 

~ Joanne Raptis

🌲 ❤️

Formed in Nature

Our bodies remember that we lived in trees and forests. We need to crawl and climb and run if we are to develop our intellectual, emotional and spiritual capacities. We did not emerge from an austere iceberg of a distant planet, but in the particularities of this Earth and its forests. When we wander through the mountains climbing and running, our bodies remember these deep patterns of behavior intrinsically tied to all we are.”

~Brian Swimme,
The Universe is a Green Dragon

Save the Trees

Wise Old Oak

” Ever since we arrived on this planet as a species, we’ve cut them down, dug them up, burnt them and poisoned them. Today we’re doing so on a greater scale than ever.

We destroy trees at our peril. Neither we nor any other animal can survive without them. “

~Sir David Attenborough

🌲❤️