Wilderness is often identified by its absence of certain familiarities; the lack of neon and concrete, the void of human occupation, the subtle yet striking absence of noise that proclaims the "true" presence of wilderness? Wilderness represents a frightening opportunity for our urban society, for the individual to experience autonomy unfettered by household banalities. Some believe that this lack of human "noise", audible, visible, emotional, and dare I say, spiritual, leaves us open to greater things.
Our perception of wilderness is often a hindrance to our ability to enjoy it. Too often fear of the unknown defeats the burgeoning wilderness seeker. Our society is sick with this fear. The "big bad" wolf and the "creepy crawly" spider in the waterspout have infected our psyche and brought about a distancing from nature that has precipitated a global environmental sickness. Wilderness awaits a reconnection.
For the brave soul who ventures out their door the sounds of nature, unimpaired by the hum of cars, await to soothe their bombarded urban eardrums. Happy birds singing, wind sighing in the trees, the splash of some mysterious creature, are hopeful heralds of personal and societal healing.
Find yourself a quiet corner of a stream, where the sun-drenched boughs of snow laden conifers surround you in an earthy cathedral, and listen for the chorus of voices echoing the ancient words of balance and harmony; asking you to give up your fear and accept yourself within wilderness and, perhaps, wilderness within you.
Monthly Bird Walk — The next bird walk will take place Saturday, Dec. 4th and will start at the later fall/winter time of 8 a.m. Join Whistler experts in the monthly update of our feathered locals and migrants.
Written by: Mike Lavine