Saturday, August 13, 2011


"We need to find a way to imagine the lives of animals, of all nature, not in a purely romantic or purely scientific way, but in ways where they intermingle with our own wild lives."    (David Gessner)

But, what's happened to our own wild lives?   Are they hiding out somewhere in the shadows, in the bushes, stamped down into the leaf mold where they wait for us, mewing or floating wolf-cubbish howls into our dreams and nightmares?  Waiting for us to shut down the laptop?  Waiting for the moments when we look around and wonder where we've been all these years?  As if we've been asleep at the wheel or in the kitchen preparing supper on automatic pilot. Waiting for the computer to load, waiting, waiting.

How long will that wolf cub  have to wait?

Go outside, I tell myself.  Just sit.  Listen to that bird singing, "pretty, pretty, pretty."  Watch the clouds swell like yeasty bread dough.  You don't have to pack up and go hiking the Appalachian Trail (though that would be pretty illuminating and enriching, if not exhausting).  What was the life of that mole like, the one my dog snatched from the blackberry bushes?  I held the small velvet body for a long time, but it soon grew cold.  I stroked its fur.  So soft.  Beautiful, really.  Strange little creature, why is it here at all?
What does nuzzling through the soil feel like?  Taste like?

That jade lizard that darts out from behind the stones of my backdoor ledge, what's his take on things?  Pissed off, probably, that I disturbed him yet again, watering my morning glories. Clanging around with my watering cans.  He would make a gorgeous bracelet or necklace.  I could wear him to Ingle's this afternoon when I  gather up more groceries.

Our days go by so fast.  We're infected with timesickness.

 Stop the clock.  Leave the house, the car, the classroom.  Just go......

Let me know what you see.


  1. Beautiful question and post. Timesickness has taken over for real. I yearn to put a megalithic anchor on the sun and stop it from heading over the horizon. Want to just stop time and sit. And to go, explore the wild, away from computers and clocks, schedules and appointments.

    Watching the birds at the baths I've put on the back deck table and the squirrel who returns for dirt baths in unplanted planter. Looking for the green tree frog who used to visit the back deck door every other night.

    How soft the mole's fur must have been. How curious their lives. Yes to your question, your topic, your call to action. Topic enough for the lifetimes of all generations to come.

    Will I go today?

  2. Anora, this is a lovely and timely response. I may get back to you about expanding it a bit and making it a guest blog feature in the next few days. What do you think?

  3. Lovely way of putting this. I went through a similar process when I gave up job/home/daughters (adult, I'm not that bad a mother) to go travelling. It was time to find myself in a different world.

  4. Thank you, Jo, for your visit. I just dropped by your blog and will keep coming back. It's excellent, thought-provoking, and well worth reading.

  5. Kathryn, I'd be delighted to see this topic expanded and be part of it, or respond to others who continue it.

    As the rain is torrenting down on this developed hillside west of Raleigh, I read your response and remembered we'd just saw a deer in the narrow wooded buffer between developments.(The only ways out to safer forests are across roads...)

    Timesickness and our relationship to our own wild lives and wildlife are fascinating topics. And there's another sickness, a heartsickness that comes with seeing how vulnerable wildlife is to our cars and carving of their forest and wild lands.

  6. I like "timesickness." That is what I'm suffering with these days. Never enough time although I continually tell myself to slow down and smell the woods around me, appreciate the sunset on Brasstown Bald, the two deer that frolic in my woods and wild turkey and her little ones I saw recently.
    I can look out my window or sit on my deck and see so much of nature's beauty. I did that at one time. I plan to do more. As soon as I complete lessons for my next two upcoming classes in August. See? There is always something to get in the way. :)

  7. A beautiful post -- and certainly something to think about. I'm surrounded by invisible wildlife -- they're eating the foliage of my okra, my sweet potatoes, my beans -- or maybe I just think it's my garden... The fat cottontail who ignores me every morning when I hang out the laundry is one suspect -- so sleek, so smug.

    The hummingbirds are swarming at the feeder and if it's dry, they will go to the other windows in the house and buzz at me till I tend to business.

    A flock of turkeys crisscross our pastures . . . a hawk soars overhead . . . a groundhog ducks back into his hole . . . a fox barks in the night . . .

    We're fortunate in our secluded cove to live with wildlife even when it means closing the chickens up at night and sharing the corn with racoons.