there is no ‘elder’ to save the day

i was asked to speak

to feral Cascadians

on rewilding the land

so i did


rewilding land comes from a spirit

of animal connection with wild

so I began with a game

bringing out

human animal


i told my story

of spiritual calling

to serve wild places


i pointed to all the remaining wild around us

stretched out far in every way

from tall trees to fragranced flowers

roaring rivers to silent seeps

rummaging ruminants to ravening raptors

“Who will tend this wild when civilization collapses?”

when human exploiters run for the hills

that were once guarded off?


before government agencies ruled

wild humans were wild tenders of wild places

do you still hear Earth’s calling?

our clarion call?

are you ready to return?


then we were ready to discuss the ways

of wild tending


after i spoke

a young man came to me

told me i am needed by them

to serve as an ‘elder’


do they, do you, not know

there is no ‘elder’ to lead the way

there is no ‘elder’ to save the day

it is all on you

together and alone

to forge the path forward

the path backward

the path off

the beaten





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