. . . is “Earth Day.” We just don’t notice. As humans, at least as “modern,” “civilized,” “westernized” humans, we like to think of ourselves as separated from this other thing we call “Nature.” We like to think of ourselves as “in control.” This, I assure you, is 100% illusion. We are not separate. We are not over and above. Us and our petty concerns, like the economy, are not more important than “Nature,” this thing we are not at all separated from and cannot “control.”
“Wilderness” may be something that is “out there,” far away from our houses, our apartments, our cars and trains and airplanes. But what about “wildness?” What if “wildness” is the “Nature” within each of us? What if wildness exists within all things not made by humans? See that bird in the sky? It is wild. You do not control it. Now, put your hand over your heart. Do you feel it beating? It is wild, too. You do not control your heartbeat. That is your wildness. See that tree growing from its little square of dirt surrounded by sidewalk? It is wild, too, just like you. It photosynthesizes without even thinking about it. Hear your breath? You breathe without even thinking about it. You, too, are “wild.”
We may find this idea very frightening. Humans, by definition, do not control wildness. We cannot control wildness. Not completely. Try though we may. And we are scared by that which we cannot control. Like death.
We try, with all our effort, all our strength, all our might, to control life. But there are many aspects of life we will never be able to control, that will always be wild, like death. Death is part of life.
But what if, instead of being scared, which leads us to want to separate, to want to control, what if we accepted and surrendered to our inability to control? To the ultimate incontrolability of life, death, nature, and wildness? What if we accepted and surrendered to our wildness? What if we saw that there really is no such thing as “Nature,” this thing we are separate from and try to control, like life and death. What if we were able to see, for just one day, that there are only beings – human beings, plant beings, bird beings, fish beings, deer beings, and on and on – living and dying within this universe, as part of this universe, inseparable and wild?
Would we, then, finally change the way we live? And die?
Happy Earth Day.