What we do to stay wild…

Photo credit: Stacy de la Rosa

Photo credit: Stacy de la Rosa

I walk around the back of the sparkling white Land Rover and start to giggle.  I hear the voice of an Australian outdoors man (think Crocodile Dundee or Steve Irwin the beloved, late Crocodile Hunter), “the elusive mammal known as ‘Mom-us On-the-run-us’ has just moved in to her natural habitat, the wilds of the grocery store parking lot”.  This huge vehicle, designed for driving off-road in the far corners of lands not yet conquered by civilization, is now being tootled around the suburbs.  The wildest habitat it is likely to see is the unpaved lot behind the soccer fields.

I’m not judging.  I get why parents like to drive giant Suburbans and Land Rovers and Honda Pilots – these vehicles are big and fun to drive.  You can justify your ‘need’ for one by all the crap that kids require us to haul from one activity to another.  How else are you going to get that 20-pack of toilet paper home from Costco?  Plus, it’s really hard to feel badass and sexy in a Prius (eco-friendly and self-righteous, yes – badass, not so much).

So we pull on our boots and drive big vehicles and watch shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad to remember what wildness feels like.

We live such tamed lives these days.  We crave a few minutes of feeling bold and adventurous – even if the primary adventure you are having today is driving your SUV with the windows down on your way to the bank.

Maybe we need to get our hands dirty a little more often.
Maybe we need to walk barefoot on unpaved ground.
Maybe we need to sit outside and hear the coyotes howling at the moon.  Maybe we need to howl along from time to time.

Because along with kids and errands and tedious work projects, comes that feeling that there must be more to life than endless piles of laundry and pointless meetings fueled by tepid cups of coffee.

So I stand outside and feel the wind on my face.  I put my bare feet on the ground.  I give myself 20 minutes to listen to the birds.  If I stay still long enough, I can watch the coyotes slip through the evening mist on the edge of the hill, as they begin to look for their evening rabbit buffet.  I remember that I am a part of this untamed, natural world.  For twenty minutes, I don’t think about the taxes I need to pay, the projects I need to finish or that we are almost out of milk, again.  And then I go inside and make dinner, part feral, wild woman and part domesticated mama.

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