Romanticised Rewilding

The rural idyll is strongly connected to notions of rewilding. Ah, the bliss of meadow abound with flowers in full bloom or the enchanting moonlight streaming through the branches of the forest canopy at night. Many environmentalists, rewilders, Pagans, etc. emphasize these characteristics of Nature, understandably. Albeit, it is important to realise that rewilding is not about ignoring any part of Nature that might have a more negative connotation, such as parasitism and harsh weather conditions.

I am fully aware of the potential dangers and discomforts associated with a noncivilized lifestyle, however most of these are more prominent when one is, obviously, placed in a situation for which one is unprepared, and especially so when they are alone. This is not any one movement’s goal, to scatter people about the wilderness and have them struggle to survive. Rewilding is about returning to a more tribalesque lifestyle, in which there is still culture and community. Not bracing the elements in solidarity.

Even so, I believe it is important to try to disconnect ourselves from the connotations that are traditionally given to things such as death and natural destruction. The only death that truly matters is the death of life itself, for life is actually continued through individual deaths. Without an organism’s ability to die, life could not go on. Life feeds on death. It’s essentially a recycling system, which is something that has been observed by humans from a very early time as seen by the prevalence of reincarnation in many spiritualities, regardless of whether one believes in souls/spirits. The death of a loved one will no doubt effect nearly everyone at some point in life, and grieving is a healthy and certainly justified part of life. But the goal of achieving immortality does more harm than good. A new outlook on death would be good for those actually interested in such an achievement. The same is needed for things that bring death, such as natural destruction and illnesses. We need these “bad” things to actually live successfully.

And as such, I would much rather live a life that I wanted to live and die at a young age than live a lifetime of sorrow, despair, and feeling trapped, even if it meant I could live up to a hundred years.

On the other hand, however, it is also common for the idea of rewilding to be equated to being in near-suicidal survival situations, or a post-apocalyptic wasteland preparation. This is something I will address more in-depth at a later time.