What is Rewilding?
This word sprouted in the 80s within the environmental conservation communities to describe the concept of rewilding land, and regenerating landscapes.
Since then, it has found its way into a myriad of corners in society with a myriad of different meanings.
When we use the term rewilding, we are referring to a way of living. A returning to a wild state. An amalgamation of decisions and belief systems that create a lifestyle that is land-based.
To live in a manner that is connected to place based knowledge, wisdom and culture. To be able to provide for ones needs through building relationship with local ecology in a regenerative way that nourishes the future.
The opposite of Rewilding is domestication. We have stemmed from a wild state and now find ourselves in a domesticated environment called civilisation where everything from our food to our water to our lifestyles are domesticated within the walls of civilisation.
To rewild can mean many different things, you can rewild your life from the lens of environmental activism and lifestyle choices (choosing ethical produce), decide to regenerate the land and learn Indigenous land managing methods, or from a lens of ancestral skills and nature connection, learning the skills of our ancestors that enable us to build relationship with the ecology around and spending regular time immersed in nature, listening and connecting or you could rewild from a cultural and social lens by implanting Indigenous frameworks of reciprocity and kinship into your community, there are many different angles that all lead in the same direction: land based living & the empowering of Indigenous cultures. These actions and belief systems are not separate but complimentary.
If we desire to rewild the landscape, we simultaneously must be rewilding our human landscapes as both are intertwined. We can spend years regenerating a native forest back into a thriving ecosystem but if we aren’t changing the disconnected mentalities and behaviours of modern culture than we will cycle back around and create the same damage to the land once again. Rewilding is a rewiring of perspective and culture. It is cultural repair. It is the returning of a mentality that is aware of its interconnectedness with the surrounding world. It is a regenerative way of being that understands that what effects one part of the whole effects it all.
We have ventured far away from this Indigenous way of being and thinking in today’s modern world and rewilding is a bridge back into ecological awareness and relationship.
We need to rewild in order to create a thriving future for ourselves, the future generations and the earth. Hopefully one day we won't have to name this innate way of living because it will just be!