by wildernesses/stinging green

abstract painting
Photo by Zaksheuskaya on

To me, the color green symbolizes nature, my love for the grass and leaves and pine needles.

By “wilderness,” I don’t mean

the vast desert where people dehydrate,

or the shipwrecked island survival stories,

or rugged backpacking in the woods.

When I say “wilderness,” I speak as something not entirely human,

something deeply attuned to the heartbeat of the earth,

the erratic pulse of the rain,

the swaying of the sea kelp beds.

When I say “wilderness,” I mean the lions and the zebras play tag with no consequences.

When I say “wilderness,” I mean the stinging nettles don’t have personal space issues.

I mean, there’s no off-key choirs of flies, or ticks slurping your blood, or humid mosquito clouds clinging to your sweat.

But, it’s easy to picture nature perfect

from the couch, glancing out the streak-free window at the trees in spring bloom, or

when taking a stroll to smell the hyacinths, or

when having a picnic in the grass one sunny afternoon.


the vast desert will make you shiver by night and shimmer sweaty by day.

The stinging nettles will bless you with bumpy red rashes.

The picnic will get flooded in a downpour and you’ll wish for your raincoat to ward off the seeping cold.


we do our best to attune with the wilds, our instincts,

our mother earth

teaching us how to dance.

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