Prisoners without wilderness
Shut your eyes and block your ears. Ignore the smells around you. Mask the taste and feel of your modern life.
Then imagine yourself being transported away from all that is urban, built and developed and gently landing in a wilderness.
Now release your senses.
Suddenly, wilderness becomes your world. Horizons determined only by time and the elements curtail any reminder of the human-created world. Sounds are timed perhaps at the whim of a bird seeking a mate, random waterfall spray charging into glistening rock or the puff of a breeze that knocks together waxed eucalypt lances hanging overhead. Smells flow by as you walk, as if you are swimming from one sweet liquid to the next.
Heat and cold, wet and dry, are merely the conditions imposed on anything that chooses to be at that place. This sensual feast, this luscious variety is what excites and lures us about wilderness. We are there on its terms, and we love it for what it is.
To describe exact details is unnecessary, even impossible; for every imagined wilderness is unique. And the experiences it releases on the senses are equally unique.
Wilderness appreciation in the human mind is formed through personal contact with real wild places. From a brief glimpse or a long visit, or a Wollemi-sized hideaway, each wilderness contact is equally legitimate and capable of eliciting responses that can't be found elsewhere.
Contact with the natural world allows us to escape. Take away wilderness and we become our own prisoners!