On Wild Urban Places

One question I see a lot and and take part in a lot of conversation is people living in urban areas desiring to connect with wild or untamed places. Side stepping the discussion of the human world verse the natural world, there is a part of most people that desires wild places. This desire is weaker or stronger in different people, but it’s there for most.

In a lot of parts of the New World, we’re lucky. I can get to mountain forest on land that’s never been cultivated in about half an hour, to set aside Open Spaces in five minutes, and to trail heads in 45 minutes where I can hike up into the wilderness and see maybe a person a day if that and be approached by none. The wild areas change as the landscape changes, but much of this hemisphere has these wild spaces. Much of Australia, Africa, and Asia have the same. Not every place, certainly, but its amazing how much wind space is left.

But I know most of Europe isn’t that lucky, and same for some of the larger urban areas in the rest of the world as well. It’s easy for people to say, well, drive somewhere, take a bus somewhere, etc, but when it’s an eight or twelve hour or more drive to get to the nearest wild place, this is prohibitive for most people. It costs money and requires time off work which can cost more. Those that can afford such, it’s awesome for them, but many people can’t do that, and need other options.

But the “wild” waits at the edge of the “civilized”, waiting to reclaim.

There are wild places in every city, places where the wild has crept back in. While they might not be untamed, they are re-feralled, if you will. Urban places gone feral. You can find them along waterways, in vacant lots or abandoned buildings, in alleys and access ways, at the forgotten ends of parks and cemeteries. Wherever “civilization” stops maintaining and grooming, the “wild” slips back in, takes hold, and slowly grows.

It’s a different type of wild, but it is wild, Other, luminal.

They aren’t easy to find, but looking with the right eyes, paying attention, really seeing, they are there to be found, waiting in the shadows and unnoticed places.

Dangerous places sometimes, with dangers much different from wilderness areas, for what is wild attracts what is wild. But it’s worth the risk, worth risking the dangers, to those who seek such.

Just be sure to keep yourself safe.

~Lorekeeper