A month of little everyday wildness

Can you do something wild everyday for a month?

This is what The Wildlife Trusts asked us this past June and I eagerly took up the challenge. What appealed the most was the simplicity of it. We weren’t asked to ascend mountains or head into deserts to enjoy wildness. Instead we were encouraged to open our eyes, ears, and nose to the small wildness around us. Living in London, it is very easy to lose track of nature. Yes, parks are littered all over the city and canals criss-cross the urban sprawl but in every day life it is easy to forget about them. And I am too often guilty of this. I have a park and canal conveniently placed between my workplace and home and yet I almost never venture along their green paths, preferring the way home via the main road. All for the sake of time gained. But gained for what? For a few more minutes of writing up e-mails and browsing the Internet. This is not worth it. So in June, I made a point to walk home through the park more often. I did not do it everyday but I meandered in at least once a week. I paid more attention to the little spots of green around my neighboorhoud, picked up books about nature to understand my surroundings better and started to identify my local trees. There is something immensely satisfying at being able to identifying a tree. By attributing them a species they became more familiar, like people acquiring names and emerging from an anonymous crowds. I was lucky enough to visit Northern Ireland for a few days. I splashed about in the water of every lake and beach I could find. I even went as far as taking a swim in my underwear in the freezing Atlantic. It was bracing and vivifying, a guaranteed grin on my face, and a pleasure to dry under the warm sun. I took long walks with my partner’s family – aiming to get to know them but losing myself in the immensity of pine trees and lagging behind more often than not. I paused in parks during my weekly crisscrossing of London on my bike, taking the time to appreciate the effort the city is putting in incorporating nature in between concrete and metal blocks. I read outside, I watched cygnet enjoy their early swims in ponds and rivers and saw baby coots go from eggs to chicks. I listened to bird songs throughout the day, I slept with my window wide open and woke up with the sun piercing through the leaves of my tree. And I slowed down. Life became more pleasurable and my days more memorable. The challenge is over now but I will do my best to keep its lessons alive and walk the long way home more often. I have after all pledged to #StayWild. 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

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10 thoughts on “A month of little everyday wildness

  1. What a lovely idea. I think I am going through a similar process Allysse, mainly brought about by spending more time on the local canals. I can’t believe I was fish spotting the other day!

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    • Thanks for your comment 🙂

      It’s amazing how spending more time around nature makes you curious about what things around you actually are. I have to say though, fish spotting sounds quite tricky.

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  2. #StayWild may be one of the best tags I’ve ever seen! I’m glad that you had such a wonderful, (dare I say profound?) experience connecting to the world around you. I’m very much so striving for the same, and it’s really motivating to see someone who has been successful doing it!

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    • Thanks for your comment 🙂

      I definitely think you can say profound. Making an effort to seek out little wildness in a city has really improved my life. I’m still doing it – even though not documenting it as much – and every time I feel myself slip back to old habits, I purposefully seek a spot of green to sit in during the day.

      Best of luck with your own search of wildness. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

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      • Next post should be about walking a bit of the Camino de Santiago in France last month. I’m waiting on my new computer to arrive to type my report (I’m not a fan of writing long texts on my tablet or phone…) 🙂

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      • I’m with you on that. I did a little rough draft work on my phone last night while waiting for a friend. It is not conducive to my best writing! I’m super interested in the Camino de Santiago and I love France, so while I will try to be patient, I really can’t wait to read that post!

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  3. Pingback: #30DaysWild – Do something wild everyday for a month | Beste Glatisant

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