My Weekly Dose of Wild (2015): wild without effort


Here's what I like about urban nature walks.  You can find things where you don't even expect to find them. On a walk with a friend this year, meeting downtown, the first thing I spot as I get off the bus is this wonderful street art: birds in flight against a brightly patterned backdrop.  The colours adding life to an otherwise bland boarded up building.  We stroll along the water, in deep heartfelt conversation, pausing as discussions need to be drawn out and walking as emotions require movement.

There are birds, there are signs of wild, there are soundscapes that fill in pauses in our talk.  Unexpected twitterings from birds or flutterings of wings.  The city is not just speedy cars, horns and brakes.  A unclaimed lot becomes claimed by nature.  Horizons are wider than any room that we inhabit and the expanse allows other expansion also.  Space brings space to all the tiny corners of our words, thoughts, emotions and desires.

We look down in a spot where we paused and are caught in a moment past.  A whisper of a creature that once existed, that once passed by this very spot.  A hint that this concrete and steel structured cities is filled with surprise and the will of a variety of creatures.  A mark that we are not the only ones who inhabit and call this place our own.  We look down but the small marks imprinted show a direction forward.

And in the end, as I walk away to another bus that will take me home, there are other reminders that the wild can be a small tiny piece of land with a flowering tree and a native plant that feeds butterflies.  A postage stamp of a garden that offers some green in an otherwise grey side street.

And with this I see that others understand that THIS is how the city becomes alive.

Green connects us to the land and acknowledges that the air and sun and water are essential to all living things and are necessary in all corners of where we live.

Wild cities.  With or without a helping hand from us.

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