Wilderness is a way of wisdom. Wilderness requires that we wrestle. Wilderness allows us to rest. Wilderness prompts us to return with our spirits in tact ready to cultivate and sustain cultures of compassion.
I have an old photo taped on the wall just above my desk. In it I’m leaning against my dad who is leaning against a hitching rail in a forest near a birch tree. We’re held in the photo by a small pocket of light. It was the late ‘80s so, of course, we have matching mullets. There is a distinct smile on my face as I anticipate exploring the shadowy places, the unknown that extends from each corner of the photo.
Remember when everything was a mystery? When everything was miraculous. Everything spiritual. Everything charmed with possibility because everything to some extent was unfamiliar and unexplored. Remember when everything was wild?
Yesterday, while the sun set hard on the Presumpscot River just north of Portland, a few of us sat on the bank and reflected on the way that a life impacts the setting where it is lived. And we reflected on the way that the elements of our earth-home manage to forget the impacts that - were they remembered - would clutter and crowd out the creativity of those yet to live.