Wilderness is political. It’s poetic. And it’s practical.
When I say wilderness is political I’m speaking of designated places. I’m speaking of parcels of space where the biotic community isn’t made to serve a single species but where each participant practices self-restrained freedom in service of the shared drive toward being whole. Wilderness areas are those where we humans, especially those of us who tend to trample, are practicing the discipline of restraint.
Wilderness is also poetic. It is anywhere that we make friends with the untamed possibility of the world. It is anywhere that we gather confidence among the raw elements of who we are.
As parcel and as poetry the wilderness works as a context for forging community and practicing contemplation because it is free of easy absolutes. Rather than either/or, it is the realm of both/and. Wilderness is where multiplicity and nuance reign.
We go to wilderness with worn and weary souls, and with something to discover. We need space to catch our breath, and we need to hunt for resolve. We need to gather our thoughts, and we need to lose ourselves. We need some solitude, and to know we’re not alone.
Today, independent of the degree of civilization you are enjoying or deploring, know that someone is rooting for you. And, when you need it, that there’s somewhere, someway to feel rooted.