In praise of wildness

A thought came to me while strolling this morning through an orderly, well managed village in the Rheinland Pfalz area of Germany where my “schwieger-eltern” (parents-in-law) live. Most of the plots are carefully controlled environments where no plant can grow without permission. Paths are neat and run in straight lines. Concrete predominates. There are few trees, but bushes grown in carefully mulched borders.

It seems to me that our efforts to manage and control our environment, to keep wildness out, are mirrored by our efforts to control our own inner wildness. We are scared of what we might unleash if we let our own tiger loose. So rather than risk it, we keep our inner tiger, our inner rain forest, tightly leashed

I have noticed as I have got older and have chosen to follow my heart more, that my own inner wildness is expressing itself more. This might be in subtle ways such as allowing the curls in my hair to grow rather than maintaining a “short back and sides” look, or in being bolder with the colours I wear. I find this blog is a place where I can express some of my slightly wilder thoughts freely. And gradually I am giving myself permission to bring myself fully to my work, trusting that I can contribute with my slightly off-beat, unpredictable thinking.

In wildness is danger, chaos and uncontrolled energy. At the same time, without it there is no life. In our over-managed, over-safe, fear-ridden lives, we could all do with a bit more wildness. Couldn’t we?

PS. Microsoft Word has its own wild ways too, I am finding. I recently updated my version, and it now guesses what I want to write. I thought I typed “In praise of wildness” yet instead “In praise of writing” came up on the first published version of this blog. Yet you can’t do anything about Word’s wildness – it is a highly controlled, not really wild, type of energy. It just drives the user wild!