I’m reading this really interesting book at the moment that is all about Natural Navigation. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in reconnecting with the land, although it is a bit complicated in parts and I can’t pretend to understand a lot of it.
Whilst reading I was struck by why I was reading it.
I realised that I have a longing deep inside me to learn techniques and skills, capture knowledge that has died out or is dying and that is all about our connectivity with nature and the land. This isn’t out of some sort of noble, selfless interest in preserving the knowledge of mankind but more out of a desperation to go back. To go back to how it was, with less houses, more wilderness and where humans had an instinctive attunement to nature. It was also a feeling that we as animals must have this knowledge within out nature, that somehow we are passing it down through our genes and it is only the absurdity of urban modern living that is cutting it off from us.
Is this possible. Can we do this? I remember watching a program about baby Boa Constrictors and how they are abandoned by their mothers from the off. The zoo keepers had to separate the baby snakes from each other immediately and demonstrated why with a dead mouse on a stick. These snakes know instinctively how to hunt and kill from the second they are born. Amazing.
Surely this is possible with us. (Not the hunting or killing bit, but the innate knowledge). Watching my little niece it is clear to me that we do have some knowledge inside us that we are born with. Some sort of Genetic or Cultural Memory.
I hope to hell that this is true. Otherwise there is no hope for the survival of millennia’s worth of experience. Also, it means that my desire to learn these things is going to be a hard slog.
But if it is true it offers hope to people like me who want to learn these ideas and skills but can’t read every book on the subject. Perhaps we need to expose ourselves to the outside world more, take a leap of faith and hope that from some dark recess inside us we can find the knowhow to get home.