When the child sits with a tree or a stone, they do not perceive one as animate and living whilst the other remains inanimate and devoid of life.
She sees them rather as distinct personalities within a forest of trees and a beach full of pebbles.
When she picks up that small shiny black rock, it has a distinctiveness and an aliveness. The child instantly develops a relationship with it and sees the unique personality of the pebble. It is special and has meaning for her.
Likewise with that old gnarled pine, a friendship is quickly struck up, conversations are had and experiences shared.
The child knows that there is a reciprocity at work, so the tree and the pebble share their stories and feelings with her in fulfilment of the unspoken and implicit Gaian contract.
All too soon though, this felt wisdom is replaced by intellectual knowledge and the child’s clear seeing eye is clouded by the cold realities of the reductionist empire. She is told to forget these childhood whimsies in the face of the rationalisation of things.
Yet ironically we replace those beautiful superstitions of the heart with superstitions of the mind, no longer aware of the importance of the things that we cannot know intellectually.
Thus what lies at the heart of our own personal rewilding journey is the reawakening of those natural relationships of the heart. It is here where we will rediscover our own relationship with the encompassing and enveloping natural world.
This wisdom is also the way of the Native American, the Aborigine, and the Bushman. We once called them primitive and with great condescension viewed those ancient ways as naive and childlike.
In reality there is an immense sophistication within this natural conversation. It took millions of years to perfect our state of being with the Earth, and to create this evolutionary masterpiece that we are.
In order to view and to access this extraordinary Hominid work of art we do not need sophisticated techniques, nor otherworldly powers. All it requires of us is to sit with a child and to stop, listen and open our hearts to the magnificent and visceral beauty that surrounds us.