On Wilderness – You Own Nothing!

Earlier this week, after work and a 45-minute drive, we found ourselves in the middle of Lahemaa National Park.

The spot, that I have grown to like more and more, is an old abandoned hydroelectric power plant that nature has gradually taken over.

Near there we sat on a big rock in the middle of a river, breathing in the freshness of the air after the rain, surrounded by wild trees, singing birds, and the relaxing flow of rippling water. Sipping a few bowls of tea there turned the evening into a prolonged moment of crystal clarity and vivid aliveness.

There was a deep gratitude for the company of the people sharing this moment and the possibility to experience it all so often, without big planning.

Later at home, I started to wonder… Who is the current owner of this place and are the plans to rebuild it still on the table? And I remembered a poem by Margaret Atwood, on what it really means when we say that we own a forest, an island, a part of this planet.

The Moment
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the center of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.



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