Go out into the woods, child.

Go out into the woods, child.

 

Go out into the woods, child, go out.  Let your feet carry you on the worn path behind the house, down to the marshy shore of the lake.

Go out into the woods, child, go out.  Wander into the dense tree cover, trail your hand over the bark of an adolescent maple tree, and find your shelter among the roots and branches.

Go out into the woods, child, go out.  Splash through the puddles that pool at the base of the valley and listen to the call of the Sandhill crane in the fields as it stands at attention amidst the dying autumn crops.

Go out into the woods, child, go out.  Lay down in the hay-field and let your gaze drift with the passing clouds as the leaves rustle their lullabies.

Go out into the woods, child, go out.  Race through the blazing midday light, and once you are tired, pick up a stone and let your hand fit its shape to the smooth sun-warmed surface.

Go out into the woods, child, go out. Rest in the shade of an old oak tree and feel the wisdom and strength of deep roots and patience fill you up with something you didn’t know was missing.

 
Go out into the woods, child.  Go out.

Why To Embrace Wildness

Why To Embrace Wildness

Henry David Thoreau once wrote the words, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Though Thoreau lived in his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond many years ago, those words hold a deep truth. Wildness can mean so many different things to so many different people, but whatever it means to myriad humans across the globe, I have found embracing wildness to provide healing, inspiration, introspection and reason to explore. I have found wildness to be a foundation from which to do my work in the world, and I have found wildness to drive my choices as I tap into the potential of life on this beautiful earth. I have found wildness reason to cultivate community and exist in the world in a way that aligns with beauty and truth.

Here are 10 more reasons to embrace wildness, in all its forms, in the months to come. Because you just never know how making some little changes to your way of being might contribute to the healing of the planet. Continue reading “Why To Embrace Wildness”

To Dance With Mountains

To Dance With Mountains

What would it look like to dance with a mountain? To be so attuned to the natural world that you could two step or swing dance with an ancient pile of rock and earth?  To live so fully in your own wild nature that you could communicate with the world in a way that makes the sky weep in understanding and the plains shiver with anticipation of what is possible when life chooses harmony over dissonance?  To figure out how to identify the part of ourselves that is akin to rivers and hilltops and soil and trees and holding that as our center point? Continue reading “To Dance With Mountains”

A Journey into the Wild Feminine

A Journey into the Wild Feminine

The Art of Living Wild is a six week journey into what it means to embody one’s wild feminine nature. It is a journey for those who are interested in living an authentic life; a life that is rooted deeply in nature and in the soul.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, writes:

Where does wild woman live? At the bottom of the well, in the headwaters, in the ether before time. She lives in the tear and in the ocean. She lives in the cambria of trees, which pings as it grows. She is from the future and from the beginning of time.

The wild woman, that is the say, all that is natural, wild and free, is found within every women on this earth. Wild woman is never far away, but it can be easy to forget about her. We forget about…

View original post 151 more words

A Wild Calling

A Wild Calling

I started re-reading Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book Women Who Run With the Wolves about a month ago. The very short synopsis is that it’s a conglomeration of ancient folk stories, myths and fairy tales from all over the world that illustrate the importance of holding onto the wild is present in all women (and men).  The book is about the powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing that is the ‘Wild Woman’, the energy that represents the instinctual nature of women.

Reading this book is making me ask questions of my own story and the stories that dictate my way of being in my family, in my community and in the world.   Some of these stories are mine.  Some of them are not. Some of them are stories that have the potential to move me further into my own story, the one that is best suited to how I want to show up in life.  And some of them are stories that I have let overshadow my own, even though they don’t serve what I need and have the potential to create pain and struggle. Continue reading “A Wild Calling”

We Are Wildness

We Are Wildness

I’ve been working with Alissa Wild and Kevin Park, the co-visionaries of We Are Wildness since January, and over the past eight months I’ve found nothing but inspiration, authenticity and a genuine presence from both of them as they continue furthering the mission to help people embrace their inner wildness and improve the health of the planet by inspiring people all over the world to reconnect with Nature.  They currently call Vancouver Island, British Columbia home, from a little cabin on the shores of a mountain fed river.  I live in Minnesota, near the St. Criox River Valley, almost 2000 miles to the east in the United States.  And recently an Ambassador program was started, and these wild souls hail from Slovenia to Colorado to the Canadian Rockies and back to Vancouver again, spreading Thoreau’s sentiment that “in wildness is the preservation of the world.” Things expand even further if we look to the online communities that have come into being on social media.  From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, you’ll see people rewilding on almost every continent. I appreciate the vision that invites technology to serve as a catalyst fostering a return to our roots and how that vision has taken hold literally all over the world as the idea of “rewilding” gains momentum. Continue reading “We Are Wildness”

Contact

Contact

This morning I really wanted to stay in bed.  The room was dark, the sheets were cool, my husband was still sleeping soundly.  I wanted to lay there, and then get up at my leisure, check my email and drink coffee.  So instead of letting myself lay there and think about getting up and what I really wanted to do, I just got up.   Somehow I managed to turn off my thinking and stumble through the physical motions of putting feet on the floor, gathering up clothes, getting a drink of water and finding the keys.  I got in the jeep, drove 5 miles southeast and crossed the St. Croix River into the little town of Osceola, Wisconsin.  It’s situated high on the bluffs overlooking the river valley, and the river this morning was as smooth as glass.  I didn’t stop at the river today though, I continued on and went north through the downtown area as shops set up for the day and open signs flickered on.  At County Road S, I turned left and found myself at the little parking area for one of Wisconsin’s “State Natural Areas.”

There are 373,000 acres spread out between 673 natural areas across the state, and they are used for research and education, the preservation of genetic and biological diversity and for providing benchmarks for determining the impact of use on managed lands.  I appreciate them because they tend to be punctuated with more wildness and unknowns and refreshing energy than the surrounding more peopled areas.   At any rate, this one on County S has proven to be a place where I can recalibrate or refocus when needed.  Apparently this morning my body needed recalibration, and that need won out over my mind telling me to just do the same old safe and easy routine.

I parked the jeep in the empty lot and tied my keys into the laces of the ugliest pair of trail running shoes I’ve ever had and started jogging into the tree cover. (why are all women’s trail running shoes pink, or purple or turquoise or some other neon color?)   The trail starts wide and takes you down to the river backwaters if you go straight.  Today I turned left to cross the wooden footbridge over a spring fed creek and started running down a single track through a stand of tall pines.  This single track takes you deep into the woods, and it’s always dark back there, no matter how bright the sun is shining.  And quiet.   It’s like someone turned the volume down and bumped up the contrast — it’s easier to notice the details, even when running.  There are always deer and squirrels and a myriad of other small creatures scurrying about on the forest floor.  One spring I almost stepped on a tiny spotted fawn, likely just days old, laying in the middle of the trail.

Today I followed the loop trail quickly and had two white tail deer for company while deep in the woods, a Pine Marten looking me in the eyes from a dead tree that had fallen across the path at the midpoint, and the sound of rushing waters moving downward toward the river valley after turning to follow the ridge of the creek bed back to the footbridge.  I was reminded why it’s important to have contact with wild things.  It brings things back into perspective and invites wonder into the ordinary, even if just for a moment.

Just 45 minutes after arriving, I was back at the parking area to head home into my work day.  And now as I sit here looking at this screen, I’m glad I listened to the urge to recalibrate, and to make contact with the unpredictable nature of the things that inhabit the unpeopled places.   Knowing that there are places with cold, tumbling water and deer grazing amidst a backdrop of the open space above the river valley and Pine Martens at home in trees that seem to reach up endlessly toward the sky………knowing these things exist in the world is enough to remind me what’s real.  It’s not what’s on the screen.

“It’s safe to stay home and watch reruns of Star Trek and fiddle with Facebook and track digital gossip, but it’s also shallow and lifeless.  Whether it’s with sharks or bears [or deer or running water] experiencing nature sets your foundations in a way an iPad never will.  It has to do with contact.  As Thoreau writes in The Maine Woods: ‘Contact!  Contact! ‘  You can’t get contact from a screen”  ~ Jack Turner