We live on an amazing planet, one that is filled with wonder and mystery. It comes in many shapes and sizes. It expresses itself with great mountains, or a sea of grass. It stirs our heart with mighty oceans or continents of ice. It comes in the face of a tiger or the playfulness of a grizzly cub on a slope of snow and ice. When we free ourselves from the confines of life, we awaken our spirit and cushion our soul. This planet, this life force was given to man as a challenge or many argue; a gift. It is the place we must co-habituate and spend our life; endure if you will the hardships and joys that life provides.
Walking down a trial in the heart of the Rocky Mountains injects freedom into our blood, which like a drug is ephemeral in time. Spending time in antiquities in the open space of the West draws us closer to history and our own mortality. In those remains we see the dreams and ambition of those who walked these lands and labored under its dry winds and their eternal hope for skies that filled with water.
Wilderness once feared and conquered in the East, has remained part of the pulse of the West. In the heart of the Pacific or the plains of Mongolia, man becomes consumed by the raw power and scale of nature. That in so many ways remains a miracle in our modern world. The fact that land and oceans, ice and grass can consume our visual outpost and drink into our soul a primordial fear and uncertainty, allows for the voyage of our being and the broadening of our mind. It generates humility in those that allow themselves the freedom of discovery, most importantly, the kindship of species other than man; in such flight, we come back to a DNA marker of life.
It’s the aspect of Harmony, which remains our challenge in a modern world, as it has been historically. The power of one species to dominate not just other species, but to destroy all that is wild for profit ignores the foundation of that which we profess to be humane.
Is human DNA so different from other species that we have chromosomes that alter our sense of nature? Do we see in wildness a prism that must be filled by people and covered in the scent of so-called progress? How is it that some see in this place of wildness, peace and harmony, while others see only waste?
The answers are complex and in the world of politics, those that use the catch-phrase of “freedom” the loudest, remain those committed to destroying the paradise that is wildness.
Finding harmony in nature requires wisdom and heart, it generates internal strength, it allows in us the concept of sharing, it opens us to people of different looks and colors, and the spool of nature shows the fabric of life and thus better allows us to enjoy different cultures and customs.
By freeing ourselves to beauty and solitude, we open our mind to the intrinsic differences in life and do so with more balance and openness. Wild nature is the solvent for a modern world, yet we continue, at a back-breaking pace, to erase its power from the modern world, to justify the consumption and empty promise of consumerism.
The wealth of our planet is derived from its wildest corners. It gives life to that which we continue to diminish and holds in its grasp the hope for a better future.
Man must learn the concept of maturity, the ability to learn from his mistakes, to understand all life depends on the health of our planet. God will not cure our destructive nature, it is man that must grow up and respect the life force we call wildness.
We go to the beach to stare at infinity; it gives us the chance to breathe and allow nature to consume our personal toxins. When we climb a mountain, the stress clears away and we find ourselves staring into the enormity of sky and land, breathing the thin air that instills the harmony that only wilderness can provide.
We are blessed in so many ways, but the challenges remain. Man remains destructive in nature, it is akin to self-defeat. We must break a cycle of personal destruction, not just to protect nature, but to ensure life. It is our burden as humans that we must confront as we seek harmony in our place of wildness.