The other night my birdwatching neighbor came over to tell me there are is Barred Owl (Strix Varia) nesting in the trees behind our property and that I should listen for its calls. That evening, there it was, that typical “Who Cooks For You” call. By the time we got the mike out there, the call had changed to:
As we listened that evening I said to DH how wild it was, how I love how wild this place is (I wrote about the contrast with Europe here). DH remarked that surely an owl is not that wild – maybe he had jaguars in mind, and grizzly bears.
I replied an owl is pretty wild. What do I mean by wild, or wilderness? It took me not a second to answer it: Wild is Old.
That owl up there, high up in the tree, in the wind and the total darkness, is calling for a mate as it has been calling, with that exact same call, for millions of years.
Compare this with us, humans, our many, many languages, our many more ways of wooing, of saying “I want you” and “here I am”. And we’re changing those every thousand years, every generation, every day. We are constantly adapting, transforming, cultivating, culturing.
The owls, the fisher cats, the bees, they don’t change. They stay wild. Their wild ways work for them as they did millions of years ago. That is wild. Wild is Old.