Let’s start with what I am not talking about when I use the term Rewilding Life. To be clear I am not talking about the Rewilding of wilderness areas by animals at the exclusion of humans. This is the way biologists define rewilding. Conservationists would argue that because of all the damage (all?) humans have done we should (all?) exclude ourselves from wilderness areas and begin to live the way hunter, gatherers live(d?).
I would ask them a question though… which humans have caused the damage? Some humans consume more; some people’s ecological footprint is greater. We should probably not group ourselves as one big bunch of ecological destroyers.
As an environmental anthropologist, I know that humans have always been part of natural places and the divide between humans and nature is something that has been created by white men a long time ago.
Indigenous people around the world still have their long standing connections to what would be defined as wild places. However, what may seem wild to one person could be quite familiar to someone who has lived in, and has ancestors and connections to the land or sea spanning thousands of years.
When I talk about Rewilding life I am referring to something a lot deeper than conservation and wilderness. I am talking about the wilderness that lives deep within us. As Henry David Thoreau wrote in 1862 in his poem ‘Walking’ “Life consists of wildness. The most alive is the wildest”.
The key to Rewilding life is to change the way we see the human-nature connection and divide from one where we are thinking of wildness as outside of us and separate to humans to an understanding that we have wild within us and that humans have always been a part of wild landscapes and seascapes.
Knowing that by Rewilding we are allowing ourselves to be whole humans again not simply going through the motions of life on a wheel like captive rats. It’s about waking up and feeling back into our instincts, re-rooting ourselves into the earth and with all the other free beings on this planet.
Rewilding life to me is the journey we choose to take to rediscover the wild within us and reconnecting to that in order to live to our fullest potential.
We all have wild hearts and souls and when I refer to rewilding I am referring to a version of rewilding that is not reflected in conservation but within the freedom we seek.
Rewilding Life is about bringing out the wild that lies within us as well as connecting to the wild outside of us.