Tips To Make Contact With The Wild
We reached the end of the Portage Trail and took the path again, sailing through a narrow lake with small islands of trees and looking for a place to camp as the evening fell on the countryside. The thunderstorms that had threatened before had lost some of their threat, but the humidity remained. After carefully examining the map and looking at the shore, we discovered the place we were looking for through a watery field of wild rice. We set up the tent when the drizzle started to fall, found a perfect bear bag and ate a simple noodle dinner before turning to the sound of howling wolves for the night.
Like after summer storms, wolves are a secret and slightly unsettling part of a Boundary Waters experience. They do not pose a threat to humans and are rarely seen, but it is still a little disturbing to hear them howling after sunset. It is quite easy to imagine a whole pack right in front of your tent. The first night in nature sometimes involves a bit of twisting and turning – it can be difficult to get used to the quality of silence that accompanies the environment of trees and water instead of shrubs and roads in front of the lawn.
In addition to this silence, there is an energy that covers wild places that do not exist in inhabited areas. And security takes on a different meaning when you are away from the usual Routine of digital tasks, sitting in an office and sleeping in a bed. It is quite strange how easy it is to imagine all the things that could take us into the forest if – to be honest – we are just as likely to experience adversity within the boundaries of a city. But outside the field created by man, there is the undercurrent of the not-known, the unpredictable. It’s wild. Wild. In our culture, “wild” is often synonymous with peril. We are taught to avoid peril.
The morning came in a dewy mist, and we chopped our options. Are we going back because it rains all the time? Or do we continue to push into what the wilderness could offer next?
We decided to continue. We had our rain suits, our common sense and the desire to shake up our foundations in a way that a comeback could never offer. We packed up camp, ate a little trail mix, threw everything in the canoe and escaped through strips of wild rice and lily pad leaves. The morning, which had greeted us with a damp embrace, cleared up quickly, and the Dreary cold was soon replaced by warm sunlight and calm water. You never know what you will get if you choose to exist in nature. But what you know is that after each shaky experience, your foundation is somehow stronger and you have a clearer vision of what reality can look like. As Thoreau writes in the forests of Maine: “contact! Contact!”Just as Mr Turner suggests, it has to do with contact.
How are you going to get in touch with something wild today? It is likely that you will not be able to just take off for a week in the border waters, but you may be able to stand barefoot in the grass during your lunch break. Maybe you can listen to the chatter of the titmouse when the sun fades in the evening. Maybe you can take a young person with you to explore the piece of forest on the outskirts of the neighborhood. Or maybe you can follow a path that was previously not-known to you: plant a seed on your windowsill to take care of it. Smile at the boring guy in the office. Go out in a downpour to find out how you feel by choosing this Option. Do something else, even if it’s scary.