It’s fair to say that there are times I ignore calls coming through on my phone. The joy of having a mobile is that it can be turned off or onto silent and calls can be diverted to voicemail. There is one call though that I can never ignore – the call of the wild.
The call isn’t necessarily a sound – but a feeling. Whether the natural world is calling me to step outside for a moment or whether it is a yearning from within me – I’m not sure. But something is calling me. There’s an amazing quote from John Muir – “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”. This kind of sums it up for me. I hear that call, I head out into the natural world and I find my soul, I find peace, I find calm.
I was recently walking along the beach near where I live and noticed a flock of birds in the sky some distance away. They settled for a while on the sea, then headed into a nearby field before being disturbed by a dog on its daily walk. The birds took to the sky again and flew over my head.
With a little help from a wildlife expert friend of mine – I identified the birds as dark bellied Brent geese who have come to West Sussex to spend the winter having travelled from northern Russia. They will have heard a call themselves to have made their annual migration to warmer climes for the winter months. Perhaps you want to call it intuition – but, as with so many other birds and animals, there was something that told them it was time to travel south.
It doesn’t matter where I am in the world – I am always open to the call from the wild. Sometimes it’s an audible sound that catches my attention (I have Simon King to thank for my ability to identify the call of a kingfisher – once I hear one I stand still and keep my eyes peeled for that flash of electric blue) and at others it’s a feeling deep in my soul.
Invitation: Take a moment to listen to the call of the wild where you are. Perhaps you’ll hear something? Perhaps you’ll feel something?
If you feel moved to take this invitation – I invite you to share what you are noticing below.