“Hope is the thing with feathers,”
so says Emily Dickinson.
“When despair for the world grows in me
I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and
I come into the peace of wild things.”
Borrowed, of course, from Wendell Berry.
When we need propping up
after, or maybe sometimes before, we topple,
it is the natural world and our own wildness
that restores us.
Whether that’s literally deep in a forest
or in a window-less room
quietly calling forth images, sounds, and smells,
these bodies we inhabit know what they need.
Returning areas to a natural, uncultivated state.
Bringing back that which has been lost,
be that plants or animal species
that have been pushed back or eliminated,
often for farming or other human endeavors.
You know, even as you read this,
that this is also an inside job.
Sifting through the layers, identifying where
you need to return to your natural, uncultivated state.
We will not survive what is upon us
without serious reckoning.
Without calling forth our best, most whole ways of being.
The creative, attuned, enduring parts of ourselves
that know and remember what true power is
and what we are capable of.
That part that dares to feel hope and courage.
So that when the weight of the world
combines with what your own story holds,
there is still the Wild promise you made to yourself…
To find beauty,
knowing you need it as surely as you need breath.
To find those that revel in your Wild side.
To prop up and help re-Wild
the people and places in your life.
To not shy from grief.
To be able for hope and for joy,
and when you’re not,
to go to ground
with your trusted few
And re-Wild again.
And still again.
There is no arrival here.
Re-Wilding is a choice, a path, and a journey.
Don’t try to go it alone.
Re-Wilding requires Wild companions
of fur, feather, branch, flip flops, or winter boots.
Because ‘hope is the thing with feathers.’
And together, we will find our way.