Staff Photo by Richard Cowen, Woodland Park, NJ
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Everyone has a little Wild streak in them. Some people lovingly nurture it land others find it cause for concern. Really? How could anyone find Wildness threatening? I think Wildness is one of your best friends in your entire bag of tricks. She will take you far on a gloomy day – well, any fine day too. She will show up instantly sometimes, triggered by some tiny thing, and then you can ride her until darkness and maybe even beyond. She will teach you things about yourself that you never knew.
When the Wild child rears up in my spirit and my mind, adrenaline flows. I strive to keep it alive and kicking for as long as is practical, because it feeds my artistic soul and also because it keeps me ageless. Anything that you are able to experience in your life-long existence that helps erase age barriers for you is a rare and golden treasure. Hang on to that stuff.
If you were here I would ask what those Wild things are for you – the things that you enjoy doing that make you forget your age and any other raggedy old irrelevant hang-ups you might be carrying around with you like a child with a worn out blankey. You need a bucket list of resources to go to when you need to value each and every minute of the days of your life and remind yourself why you are glad you are alive. Stayin’ alive. Still alive and a little bit Wild.
I believe that your creativity is largely dependent upon your ability to stay Young and Wild and Free. How many really grumpy old people do you know who have shriveled up and stamped out any smoldering ember of Wild fire in their souls? We all know some of those. And you don’t necessarily have to be old and grumpy for that to happen. Please let’s not allow that to happen to us.
These Wild things work for me:
Certain music can transform me back to eras when I did not even have to try to capture Wildness….it was always there, because every single day was new uncharted territory for me, as if I was a wondrous babe in the green woods and it was all dripping dew of possibility. Come to think of it, the entire 4 years of college was like that for me, music and all…. all of it. A 4 year Wild streak.
Riding a Harley with that special person feels nice and Wild to me.
Watching animals in their natural habitat. Seeing Wildness au natural.
Leaving on a trip or an adventure.
Painting and writing often set off my Wild nature, because there is such complete freedom in those pursuits.
Of course there are others….and I thought I would include an experience that I had just this morning, purely unexpected and thoroughly fascinating, just in case you might be interested. It set the tone for the entire day and now here I am writing about it.
I was out walking around the big mile-long loop of the open space central park area of Palomino Park, south of Denver, the community where I now live, at 7:45 am. I see these two animals tearing around in circles right where the soccer fields are – they look like scraggly dogs from a distance but when I get to within 20 yds of them I see they are coyotes, there in broad daylight. A couple of people and I stopped to watch them because it was an amazing thing to see – obviously young, lanky legged and skinny, but probably old enough to mate – running and playing just like my dog used to do with his friends. They were oblivious to the people watching them, making big wide circles at breakneck speed and then tumbling over each other – playing chase and tackle. Then one of them runs right into the orange net behind the soccer goal and gets all wrapped up in it and starts frantically thrashing around for three minutes or so, and we all sort of panic, grabbing for our sell phones to call animal control but then he/she gets untangled and the two continue their play. We all watched for 15 or 20 minutes when they finally ran off to the high grassey area around the duck pond and the pool – I think they must have an underground den in there because they totally disappeared. Right into the underground of a very populated area…..where little kids play long into the dusk and people walk teeny little hors d’oeuvre size doggies. Pretty incredible way to begin my day.
It was a little glimpse of Wild, but enough to want more. I think I’ll go paint now.