The idea of creating a platform and network initially started with the idea of a blog just like this. Somewhere where I could write and express what I’d been learning about the rewilding philosophy. But soon the seed started to grow into something much bigger and more ambitious. The more I thought about it, the more I realised it had to be much more. Exactly this time last year I had just finished a documentary project which had been a dream of mine for four years, and once it was over I started to wonder what my next project would be. I felt a bit lost. But that didn’t last very long. I remembered that I’d wanted to write about the subject of rewilding and started to imagine what form it would take. Before I knew it my imagination was consumed with endless ideas of what was possible. This vision and dream was born, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so sure of anything in my whole life.
In this day and age we are all (or at least some of us!) trying to do our best for this planet, whether big or small. For me, the platform is a way for me to do my bit on as big a scale I can. The way I see it, the rewilding philosophy and its principles can give us all the tools we need to reclaim our health, and therefore the health of this planet. If we as individuals are not healthy and don’t even know how to be (e.g. what a truly healthy human even looks like), how do we expect our incredible home and planet to be balanced and healthy? Whether it be our physical, mental, or spiritual health, rewilding covers it all. Therefore, the ultimate goal of creating a rewilding network is simply health. And I believe that perceiving the world through this lense provides many fondamental answers and tools towards this goal.
Right now we need community more than ever. And by that I mean the community of people that we can find in our local surroundings. Although I aim to create an online rewilding community connecting people and ideas from all spheres, the main goal is for people to use the platform as a way to connect with people face-to-face. I hope for it to be a way to encourage people to find or create their own communities and understand why it is truly important. For hundreds of thousands of years we lived as hunter-gatherers where each and every individual depended on their community in order to survive. It is hard-wired in our genes. Yet, in our domesticated urban and sedentary lives we have been divided and in many cases don’t even trust our neighbours or the people we pass in the street. So let’s figure out how to bring community and all that it offers back into our lives!
Rewilding is about rekindling a deep connection to the natural world and to our own human and primal nature. The society we live in has pushed our animal nature as far away as possible and almost everything relating to our mammalian bodies is often treated as taboo. It is fundamental we reconnect with our local natural surroundings, not to mention the much bigger picture of the universe and it’s movements. One aspect of this is to notice, observe, and even hold as sacred are the natural cycles we are part of, such as the lunar and solar cycles. Just being somewhere where one can observe the night’s sky and it’s movements is a powerful way to feel grounded (not to mention humled!).
When it comes down to it, I believe (and I’m not the only one!) that our worldview has to change if we are to be able to get through this era of mass extinction and destruction that is most likey the product of domestication. Human domestication. As domesticated sedentary individuals it’s almost impossible to see the bigger picture as our whole education is based around making sure we fit into the current social system and become “productive” all consuming entitities. Our “care-free” perception that our actions have no impact on the direct and indirect world around us dominates our way of being and doing. The rewilding philosophy in many ways is about reminding ourselves what we already know deep down, that absolutely everything is connected and we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves. For our worldview to change, either the system we construct our lives on has to change, and/or as individuals and communities we need to find ways in which to rekindle this ultimate connection. My hope is that a rewilding network will be a stepping stone in this direction.
Here on the rooftops of Africa, rooted in an ancient thriving culture we hold dear our neighbors. We sit on stones outside our homes to exchange, watch out for one an other and learn to bond ourselves to the people and families that live around them. Watching out for the children running around, exchanging wisdom from whatever source. Everyone here knows his neighbour. So when you come out in the new morning daylight you take time to salute and exchange a few greetings with all your neighbors. So if anything ever happens we know truly in our hearts that are neighbor will be here for us. When we celebrate life all the neighborhood is invited. So we sit around an injera and share a meal, a few drinks and laughs. This is the way in many places yet the western world has closed its door to it’s neighbours. Reconnecting to the essence through all our senses is of deep importance to sip at the stars milk and savour the earth with each bite. We are alive because we are together.
Community and trust of the other. So fundamental. Thank you Cyril for your beautiful spot on comment.