To Rewild

I wonder if we really need to put everything in order.

As we surely know and understand in our bones, whatever order we choose to put things in, that order will eventually fail.

Running a business or a household seems like a never-ending hamster wheel of trying to put things in order. I never feel caught up, not in the slightest. Only when my mind is totally focused on a task that I love do I stop thinking about the disorder I need to put into order.

I don’t know if all this tension and worry I create inside mself about all the things that are out of order in my life is worth it. In fact, I know it isn’t worth it: I can feel stress actually make me ill some days.

At the end of the day, it seems like I am just trying to keep chaos at bay. But why not welcome chaos into your life and forget about ever “getting every thing in order”.

I do love cleaning, just not when there doesn’t seem to be an end to it all. And of course there is no real end to it all, really. I also like organizing and clarifying and rearranging. But there came a time in my life when all of a sudden there was so much life going on it was all I could do to just make sense of anything. And I am still in that time period. So here I am, unable to put everything in order.  I suppose all the parents out there have a similar story. Somehow, my wife and I gave birth to a big farm baby, and there are dirty diapers everywhere.

On Facebook it seems like everybody has everything in order. Maybe that is because Facebook is where you display everything you think you are, and nobody wants to think of themselves as disorderly, full of chaos, messy. But we all are, I think.

I love when somebody reveals the disorderliness in their life, because it makes me feel like I’m not the only one. We all do, I suppose, otherwise “Reality TV” wouldn’t be so popular. At least I’m not as nutso as that dude, we all think. But dammit, we really are, deep down.

So here we get to the crux of my rambling thoughts. We are always trying to control the wildness all around us, as well as the wildness inside us. We also try to control the wildness in others, and all of our animals and plants wild behaviors. We like to watch the news, in which they put all the chaos and madness of the world into a clean crisp snappy format, with nifty graphics, bold headlines and sub-headlines, and have nicely manicured actors who talk with unusual but calming inflections tell us of murder, disaster, weather, traffic, and sports.

But in the end the wild reclaims all.

The wild, nature itself, is where all the action is. We go into our gardens to try to “grow vegetables”, but in reality we are doing very little; the wild is doing 99% of the work. Or maybe even a bit more.

So I think we have to stop thinking that putting everything in order is going to solve any of our problems. Our collective efforts at keeping the wild at bay have created some nice things, such as civilization, agriculture, houses, and plumbing. All of those things depend on keeping the wild at bay.

To me, and perhaps to people like me who watch birds, move turtles off roads, step into puddles, and gaze up into the limbs of old trees, it seems like the balance is way off. It seems like all of our efforts to stem the flow of wilderness has only unleashed the wildest force of all, the actual climate changing. What can we do about it?

We can embrace the wildness.


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