Hey there everyone!
Today I am going to introduce you to one of the most important parts of my blog… the staying wild series.
One of the main reasons I started this blog was to encourage me (and gently push me) to re-connect with my wild, nature-loving self. Living in Philadelphia for two years, and in highly populated before that, I feel that my natural inclination to turn to nature for safety, security, answers and hope seemed to have drifted slowly away. The choice to move to Denver, for me, was fueled in part by a deep desire to correct this by bringing wildness and wilderness back into my life!
For the first installation of the series I wanted to talk about urban spaces and their hidden wild-ness.
In Philadelphia, the wild space that I visited often was Clark Park! This little gem in West Philly was definitely a great hang out spot for me, my friends, hippy types, granola types, spiritual types (I’m pretty sure I just re-described myself and my friends), four legged companions, and definitely families. There is a great farmer’s market there on Saturdays, and a number of larger events about once a month during the summer. It is located near a lot of great shops and cafes… but it’s missing one thing… wildness. Or so I thought.
For me, growing up wild meant being in nature where I couldn’t hear cars… where I could actually see stars… and where neighbors couldn’t hear me and my friends squealing as we raced around in the dark.
Urban wilderness isn’t like that. It is more regimented and with more rules to preserve the precious little that exists. Even the guerrilla urban spaces that have been reclaimed by groups, communities or even a single person must be regulated in order to ensure that it is not unintentionally destroyed nor reclaimed by a society that doesn’t see the value or sheer wild energy right below the surface.
All that regulation, keeping quiet, light pollution, etc. kept me from really seeking out urban wild spaces. I would run outside of the city (in my car, no less) searching for a way to escape the daily grind, the concrete, the strictly city smells… and yet, every time I would return and have to face the fact: I live in a city. There is no escaping it. So learning to embrace the spaces that exist here is very important for maintaining my sanity and happiness, as well as decreasing my desperate need to drive somewhere to experience nature… an inherently backwards (and damaging) idea.
This has manifested in me as seeing the wild nature of plants and animals as they exist within the confines of a city. It is scary because it reflects back at me the subtle (or occasionally overt) changes, shifts, and adjustments that I have to make in order to exist in these same confines. While the city is an amazing place to work and play, for any animal (humans included) it takes significant change to survive and thrive. Being able to stand before that reflection and find beauty means that I have to uncover my motivations for and issues with city living. Maybe you’d like to join me in that reflective work? Maybe you’d like to just read about it. Either way is a-okay.
So… I’ve made it my mission to work on finding wild spaces here in Denver for myself (okay… let’s admit that I will also keep posting about my adventures outside of the city too!). I will keep the pictures as wordless as possible (here is a nod to Silent Sunday/Wordless Wednesday posts that occur all over the place) while still posting the location of the pictures at the end. From time to time there will be a longer installment meant to share my personal progress, and encourage others to share as well.
I hope you will enjoy the journey and that you get involved in your own way! I sincerely with for it to inspire you to look in nontraditional places to find connections with the Earth.
And now that you’ve made it through all of that blathering… here are this week’s pictures: