The Playful Wild

by Aram Mitchell


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?

Last Thursday before our stroll we circled in the grass near a community garden on the Eastern Promenade in Portland. My sister, Laura, guided us in a reflection that pulled us away from the inhibitions that so often obstruct our encounters with those raw and compelling moments of being alive. She invited us to sidestep the obstructions and take a dive into the spirit of playfulness.

And that’s what we did. We shouted from the highest point we could find. We raced down Portland Trail’s Loring Steps to the corner of Back Cove. We sprinted up hills only to roll back to the bottom, dizzying ourselves with the compulsion to remember what it was like to forget that we are supposed be composed. We took photos. We told jokes. We courted feral cats and avoided a family of skunks. We laid in the grass and we ate popsicles.

We took an hour one evening to seek out some space where it was safe to encounter the often unfamiliar sensations of play.  And in our caper we got a glimpse of the playful wild that are, not always, but quite frequently manifested with levity in the elements of the earth, just waiting for us to take notice. Waiting for us to remember, and join in.
 

Aram Mitchell

Renewal in the Wilderness, 135 Sherman Street, Portland, ME, 04101