As humans for 50,000 generations we were wildlife. I cannot see our identity as humans separate from the natural world in which we emerged. Over the last 500 generations we’ve largely removed ourselves from that relationship. But it’s in there. In every single one of us. It’s in the weathered old man who wakes up at 3 am to go birding in the Columbia wetlands. He measures his life not in years but in how many springs he has witnessed. It’s the glow of a six year old’s eyes as she chases butterflies. It’s in the amazement of a logging truck driver as he watches a herd of caribou cross the logging road. It’s in the language of this land that I walk on as a settler. It’s deep in there. In every single one of us. Waiting to be tapped into.
As we watch our natural world decline it’s up to us to tap into ourselves to protect it, to connect to it. To realise that when we lose a species, we lose a piece of ourselves, our home. We must shift our relationship with the natural world.
Photo: Cory Destein
Today on World Wildlife Day, I’m thinking of caribou. I’m thinking of the old growth trees that continue to get loaded onto logging trucks. I’m thinking of the high elevation grasslands that could be lost.
I’m thinking of our journey. How we can tap into ourselves and find our place within the wild. As spring blooms and the world around us comes alive once again it’s up to us to see the magic all around — to uncover the pieces of our home and our wild selves in the process. It’s up to us to change the trajectory of our natural world.
Whether you’re writing letters for the local bighorn sheep herd, supporting wildlife defence work with monthly giving, or subscribing to our newsletter to stay up to date on wildlife news, every small action this community takes tugs at another thread of that trajectory.
This World Wildlife Day, whose theme is Recovering Key Species for Ecosystem Restoration, may we take a moment to reflect on our own relationship with the natural world and the wildlife we are kin to.