Begin To Rewild Yourself
verbverb: rewild; 3rd person present: rewilds; past tense: rewilded; past participle: rewilded; gerund or present participle: rewilding
restore (an area of land) to its natural uncultivated state (used especially with reference to the reintroduction of species of wild animal that have been driven out or exterminated).
Indigenous genocide, fires in the amazon and shameful politics. Right now, the climate in countless corners of the world feels particularly gloomy and oftentimes dangerous as we move through very uncertain times as the anthropocene is believed to be ending. Where it can prove hard to know what to do as we face these depressing happenings, there is no better time than to observe our own impact on the earth and small ways we can help the crisis. You may be thinking this is overused or overrated advice? Of course it is. But getting wise, showing up for a rally, and being an everyday activist in any way you can IS powerful. It truly all starts with the individual. We need not be overwhelmed but logical, practical and inspiring others to take charge too.
We need to protect what we have on our doorstep and all life is sustained by rich biodiversity and the health of the natural world, teamed with us taking our foot off the gas (literally) to reduce our emissions. The key term here is reciprocity. A practice handed down through generations of indigenous peoples allover the world, notably our ancestors of Native America who only take enough and do so with reverence and respect. The same peoples lives who are currently under threat and the very guardians of the nature holding the keys to our survival. We need now to remind ourselves that we are stripping the land of it’s resources without leaving ample enough time for it even to regenerate itself, hence the Earth overshoot day coming so early this year. But meditation on the wonder of the natural world is not enough, we need to help pressure our politicians and major business corporations to see the light. Our capitalist society is innately selfish and you only have to observe the pollution in its many forms to see the havoc this has reeked.
This month we are exploring this theme and educating ourselves to live more seasonally and in tune with nature’s rhythms. So, here are a few novels that have made a lasting impression on us:
“Feral is the lyrical and gripping story of George Monbiot’s efforts to re-engage with nature and discover a new way of living. He shows how, by restoring and rewilding our damaged ecosystems on land and at sea, we can bring wonder back into our lives.
Making use of some remarkable scientific discoveries, Feral lays out a new, positive environmentalism, in which nature is allowed to find its own way. From the seas of north Wales, where he kayaks among feeding frenzies of dolphins and seabirds, to the forests of Eastern Europe, where lynx stalk and packs of wolves roam, George Monbiot shows how rewilding could repair the living planet, creating ecosystems in post-industrial nations as profuse and captivating as any around the world.” - Monbiot.com
“In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the ‘Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.
Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell made a spectacular leap of faith: they decided to step back and let nature take over. Thanks to the introduction of free-roaming cattle, ponies, pigs and deer – proxies of the large animals that once roamed Britain – the 3,500 acre project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife numbers and diversity in little over a decade.
Extremely rare species, including turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons, lesser spotted woodpeckers and purple emperor butterflies, are now breeding at Knepp, and populations of other species are rocketing. The Burrells’ degraded agricultural land has become a functioning ecosystem again, heaving with life – all by itself.” - Google Books
“Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In a rich braid of reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.” - Milkweed.org
“We're not just losing the wild world. We're forgetting it. We're no longer noticing it. We've lost the habit of looking and seeing and listening and hearing.
But we can make hidden things visible, and this book features 23 spellbinding ways to bring the magic of nature much closer to home.
Mammals you never knew existed will enter your world. Birds hidden in treetops will shed their cloak of anonymity. With a single movement of your hand you can make reptiles appear before you. Butterflies you never saw before will bring joy to every sunny day. Creatures of the darkness will enter your consciousness. And as you take on new techniques and a little new equipment, you will discover new creatures and, with them, new areas of yourself that had gone dormant. Once put to use, they wake up and start working again. You become wilder in your mind and in your heart. Once you know the tricks, the wild world begins to appear before you.” - Goodreads
There are a multitude of ways we can do our part for various causes and some of those are/feel very indirect but can help tremendously. Here are a couple of links for much needed support for the indigenous peoples of the Amazon currently under threat:
- Help Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) protect the land: https://www.instagram.com/socioambiental/
- Help Amnesty take action: https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/protect-indigenous-peoples-rights-and-the-amazon/
- Help the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation protect indigenous rights: https://www.leonardodicaprio.org/projects/indigenous-rights/
Additional reading: George Monbiot: Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis
Credit: iStock) (