Seek the Wild

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” – John Muir

Recently I found myself touched by words written in an article by Denise Ryan (@deniseryan) that caught my eye in our local newspaper,  The Vancouver Sun”. The article was about an older gentleman named Marian Wiacek who recently published his memoir, ” Window to Freedom”, describing his experiences as a young Polish refugee during the Second World War.

One paragraph stood out among so many, it’s words a map to the healing source of nature. Amidst the horror and confusion of war including displacement and the tragic death of his father in the Katyn woods massacre, the author remembers experiencing a hushed moment in nature, recalling an encounter with a wolf in the woods one day, while out picking berries; a moment out of time, the two of them contemplating each other in the stillness. This image has remained with this author for all of his 86 years, a reminder that there was still magic to be had in an unrecognizable world, that nature still had gifts to bestow on a young boy willing to accept them.

The image of the wolf and boy reminded me of an encounter I had in Stanley Park several years ago, I was walking a much loved trail and met a coyote casually loping toward me, as he came closer, he began to slow until we stood nearly side by side, just looking at each other. It was only for a few seconds and I was left with the sense that something alien yet magical had just happened, that this was a gift, something rare and like the author, something to remember when the edges of my world begin to fray.

In the to and fro of comments left on a blog that I read frequently, the author posted that in reading my comments, he could imagine that I live a pretty sweet life – in answer to that comment, I shared with him that in curating this sweet life, I gather some pretty incredible tools to fight those moments when I feel sad, angry or afraid. One of my tools is to always seek the wild – I have done this all my life (even if I’m afraid of the wild getting too close!), my most favourite pastime as a child was building forts in the woods, whether that was in the Black Forest in Germany (during our army postings as a family) or the stretch of woods on a Winnipeg army base that my best friend Pat and I called Edgeland (made up of the Little Woods and the Big Woods), nature was always there providing sanctuary and still does to this day –  if by chance the wild and my life collide, even better!

Journal Excerpt:  October 08, 2012 – Gran Bahia Coba near Tulum, Mexico

We are having a late morning tea in the lobby bar catching up on journal writing and reading. We’ve had a very nice few days enjoying Coba. We’ve tasted two delicious a la carte dinners and a lunch at the Tulum property with a dip in the Caribbean sea. And yesterday we took the shuttle to Coba beach and had a great afternoon being in the water. We didn’t even have to snorkel, the water is so clear and so many different kinds of fish swim all around you. Our days are filled with exploring, being poolside, eating lunch at the snack bars or at the different properties (Akumal or Tulum) and finishing our evening with a chamomile, honey and vanilla tea. Today is cloudy, we won’t know if we are sunning or swimming until later. So I’m going to read now with my second cup of jasmine tea.

Journal Entry: October 14, 2012 – Gran Bahia Coba

I’m catching up here at the Cancun airport. The last 6 days have been filled with swimming at Coba beach and the pool. We had lunch twice at Akumal before our Caribbean swims – I’m so glad to have had the experience of swimming with the beautiful tropical fish. They are so gentle and relaxing to be with. I want to remember the smell of honey from the bushes at the Akumal property along the shoreline and that glorious first look at the Caribbean sea as we jumped off the shuttle.

We booked two more a la carte meals this past week – both meals were delicious, I tried sea bass for the first time and enjoyed it! My impression of Coba will always be green, it felt like we were staying on a nature reserve.

Capturing the wild at Tigh-Na-Mara near Parksville on Vancouver Island.

Capturing the wild at Tigh-Na-Mara resort near Parksville on Vancouver Island, B.C.

 

 

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About anotetohuguette

I'm currently blogging from the beautiful West Coast city of Vancouver, British Columbia - a vibrant city by the sea, surrounded by mountains and a very unique urban forest.
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9 Responses to Seek the Wild

  1. Shirley says:

    Wildlife seems to follow you around. As a child and upward you and I seemed to accumulate various greetings from the animal kingdom. Me remembering when we lived on the Army Base at 4th and Alma, the rabbit that came to our door, and sat there until I let it in. Funny place for a rabbit. I don’t know if it is in our DNA or just from watching. I remember my Dad had a large two car size shed. Every Spring the swallows returned to their nest inside on the beam portion. When my Dad encountered a cat, he just bought some large wire, and left an opening in the top so the birds could come and go, and the cat was free to wander. Brushes with spirit of the forest, mountains and water are calming and miraculous.
    Every encounter is a blessing.
    Love Mom

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christine Arcand says:

      Dear Blogger,
      I agree with your Mom. Here on the island many spirits of nature work their calming charms and an encounter with the unexpected always renews that wonder. There are large windows in the TV room close to ground level and a passing parade of creatures has entertained more than the televised offerings. Once a family of deer peered into the window as if they wanted to catch the latest episode too. Recently an unfamiliar creature sauntered past. Smaller than a racoon with a sleek almost seal like coat it sparked one of those moments of mystery. After checking out many websites on gulf island wildlife and not finding anything I remembered someone saying that there had been a mink ranch once. Voila! Thank you for all your inspired and inspiring posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your very lovely note and as you can tell, my Mom has a beautiful way with words that often sends myself and my dear neighbour Huguette on some unique visual journeys. I love your words, too and through them find myself once again experiencing a moment of mystery. Cheers!

        Like

    • As always Mom, your comments contain wonderful memories, these are legacies that I can read again anytime. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, Christine – thank you for checking in and I’m glad to welcome a former neighbour to my pages! Huguette says “hi” and we are happy to read your words!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ugetse says:

    Kim, I enjoy so much reading your blog. The description of your mom . You are both such nature lovers and you would both do everything to save an animal, a plant or a tree. You have such a beautiful soul. We love you for that and much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AgingGracefullyIam.com says:

    I’m not sure that I’d have felt calm in the presence of a coyote next to me, lol! I do, however, understand the deep and spiritual connection you can have in one simple exchange with animals. I met a wolf dog (gorgeous gait and fur) briefly before he died of old age. We connected immediately. His owner was surprised at the dog’s reaction to me and said he suspected the dog had “claimed” me. I didn’t understand the immediate depth myself, but then I didn’t have to – I felt it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for this, I’m so glad that others feel the same about the beautiful wild animals that share our world. I always sense the wild when I meet up with a wolf dog, what a joy to have one connect with or claim you as part of the pack! I love the mystery of it all and I’m glad that you felt it, too.

      Like

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