Books to inspire rewilding – of land, of body and of life.
By Gabrielle O’Connell
There are many rewilding books out there, and this is a beautiful thing. The movement of un-taming, un-tethering and reclaiming is taking hold. Here are just a few that speak to the wild within.
Dirt to Soil – Gabe Brown
This no-nonsense guide to regenerative agriculture is a breath of fresh air. A concise and easy-to-read guide on how to farm consciously. It’s extremely practical and offers solutions to the perfect soil balance and which combinations of seeds work best together.
An inspiring account of returning to working with the eco-system from conventional farming and the natural ways crops can flourish.
Wilding – Isabella Tree
This title is one of the best-known and discussed books on rewilding the land, and for good reason. It’s an extraordinary and hopeful account of the Knepp Estate in West Sussex. The land has regenerated itself with wisdom and beauty from intensive, agricultural farming. When we leave the earth to take care of herself, wonderful things happen.
Feral – George Monbiot
Monbiot takes the frightening subject of environmental collapse and shifts the lens towards the places that are still wild, still free. A positive perspective shift that transforms what we know of ecology the systems around us. This books explores the stunning power of the world to restore itself and follows the work of individuals to support that change and re-growth.
Braiding Sweetgrass – Robin Wall-Kimmerer
Reciprocity is at the heart of Braiding Sweetgrass; The symbiotic, supportive relationship with the earth and all of life. A wholistic text that wraps indigenous wisdom, science and story-telling together to make a work of insight and beauty. Wall-Kimmerer’s fluid and clear writing style creates strong images in the mind and will leave you with a taste of the wild and a song of gratitude on your lips.
Foxfire Wolfskin – Sharon Blackie
This collection of short stories are an expression of the deep psyche and the untamed, animistic natures held there. Folklore and mythology so often are maps of the wild unconscious. In these stories are keys to unlock the feral, release the inner wolf, find the hidden soul-skin of the seal.
The House Without Windows – Barbara Newhall Follett, Illustrated by Jackie Morris
This novel is a beautiful tale of freedom, innocence and an uncomplicated love of the wild.
Newhall Follett created this semi-autobiographical work as a very young child, and it has a tangible feeling of wonder to it. Her life and work mirror each other in their complete abandon of social restrictions.
One day, after a short period of adventuring the seas, marrying and raising a family, Newhall-Follett walked into the wild and was never seen again.
This book is not about rewilding in the most obvious sense but in all that it teaches there’s the essence of stepping out of the captivity of western culture. Out from under the insidious ways we have been conditioned to see ourselves as divided from our instincts, our intuitive wildness, and the non-human world around us.
Through connection to the body, Shepherd delves deep into the subject of non-separation and wholeness. He shows how listening to the world through the body is a the truest way of coming into the present with all of your self.
Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology – David Abram
Becoming Animal is a poetic and expansive read. It is an exploration of the sensual experience that being in an elemental relationship with earth is. This intimate and visceral work describes the kinship of our flesh and the living earth. You come out not knowing where the bark of the tree begins and your skin ends. Our breath moves through the lungs of the world.
This is a book of felt-truth not of scientific facts giving evidence for the reason we are wild. It’s full of rich and textured prose; the words a call to be immersed in the details of what we see and feel.
Losing Eden – Lucy Jones
It’s not a new idea that being in touch with nature is good. We know it, can feel it instinctively. But Jones takes the reader on a journey of exactly how and why it’s necessary for mental health to re-wild your lifestyle. It’s a grounded and urgent book centred in positive action for health and wellbeing.
Jones brings a fresh and contemporary voice to our cultural examination of relationship to the earth. This call to make change is culturally insightful and personally relatable.
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