There are two meanings to this term – first, the writer and environmentalist George Monbiot describes it as ‘resisting the urge to control nature and allowing it to find its own way’ (Monbiot, 2014:9). It is a word gathering much traction (and controversy) in the fields of environmental science and conservation. The second meaning is less discussed, and it is the focus for this blog. Any engagement with the natural world means ‘a more intense and emotional engagement of human beings with the living world’(Monbiot, Orion Magazine, accessed online 26.8.18). Therefore, rewilding also means we must experience ourselves as part of nature, become culpable for its betterment through greater connectivity with nature, and hopefully, with each other.
We achieve this by looking closer at the world outside our window. Create small spaces for plants to thrive, grow food to pick, find insects to identify, birds to feed and paths to walk along. In doing this we inadvertently transport seeds to new places, invite small creatures to abide in shady, concealed dens. Go and explore and find – enchant your day! We are not returning to an imagined better place or time, but living here in the now of our present situation. I call this time of connectivity with nature my ‘rewilding’ time. I am permitting my curiosity to wander, engaging with what I encounter and intentionally leaving behind a better space for nature to thrive and enchant us.
My educator goals for learning outdoors are:
- Outdoor learning needs to be embedded into the school curriculum
- Every child needs to experience a growing garden to produce their own food
- We all need spaces in our living and working environments that permit nature to simply take hold and delight us.
- In this way the natural world becomes part of who we are and what we do in order to survive and care respectfully for nature.