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The wild within

Cities are expansive splurges of grey material spilt onto the otherwise pristine and green natural world. They replace the most elemental aspects of nature with the roar of humanity; the melodious bird song is drowned among the rumble of traffic, the silky layer of morning fog is smothered by the thick pollution and the dogged buds of plants are concealed under slabs of concrete.

A surprising study exposed the shocking reality of city-dweller's estrangement from the very land that we are moulded from. The study revealed that 44% of Londoners are unable to identify a kingfisher, whilst one third couldn't name an Oak Tree when they saw one. These statistics highlight how in a mere few decades our eyes have been drawn away from the undulating beauty of the bird flight and the sublime landscapes of our planet, and sucked into the 5 by 3 inch screen of our phones. Sunsets are obscured by selfies and trees replaced by pylons. However, we will never lose our internal kernel of wildness. There'll always be a part of every human that desires the unfettered and unenclosed.

We will always crave the vivacity of the natural world, or how else would we describe a child's pure delight in the presence of a pile of mud? How would we describe a toddler's innate fascination with anything that possesses a heartbeat?

A young child will almost always reach out their chubby fingers towards an object that thrums with life. They will always try to reclaim their wildness because that is what our bodies have evolved towards. Our long, muscular legs are not adapted for a sedentary life. Although it may shock many of us, me included, humans are actually built for long distance running. As said by the NY Times, 'Because we cool by sweating rather than panting, we can stay cool at speeds and distances that would overheat other animals. On a hot day a human could even outrun a horse in a 26.2-mile marathon.'

So now that we have exposed our true and inherent leanings towards the natural world, it's time that we act upon this knowledge. This month is 30 days wild. Hundreds of people are participating in this event where they pledge to perform one wild act every day. It may be photographing a butterfly, walking through the woods or splashing in a puddle. Whatever you do, you must allow yourself to reconnect with the natural world. Now more than ever, it is vital that we are able to distinguish wildness from wasteland. Wastelands are the inscription of wildlife-lost. They are decimated forests and the butchered bodies of once-magnificent wildlife. In order to feel a passionate desire to preserve our wild planet, we must first recognise its existence. That is why I ask you to participate in 30 Days Wild. If we were all able to realign ourselves within the natural world, we may just begin to fathom the importance of protecting the Earth. It is not a fruitless passion of a select few, the environment is us. It is what sustains and nourishes us, what absorbs our waste and purifies the air we breath. So go and enjoy it.

#wild #wilderness #environment

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