Ramble Around

Kate passed me another postcard. “This one is from Dovedale; ‘The Rambler’s Paradise,'” she told me. I held the small rectangle in my hand.

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“What’re ramblers?”

“They’re so awesome! You’d love ’em. They were these group of people that lived without property lines. They didn’t buy into it, so they wandered, mostly in nature and sweet places like Dovendale. It’s also just the name for wanderers—they rambled around and stuff.”

Kate kept passing me more and more postcards from her trip to England to see her family. But my mind was still stuck on ramblers.

I liked the idea. It sounds freeing to be able to go wherever the fuck you wanted and not have to worry about all these invisible lines we’re stepping around and on.

Unfortunately, the life of a rambler wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. They would be attacked, chased out of areas, yelled at, and generally hated.

We draw so many lines, erasing them, redefining them, scribbling them, and worshiping them. It puts us in a little box. An invisible box, yet it’s rigid. Any sort of rigidity has its downsides.

I think about the lines in the world a lot. The invisible lines drawn like chalk on a sidewalk. Fences guard and protect land that’s owned, off limits. The lines that define each state and country, some are tense and humming with hostile anticipation, some are friendly and easy to step over and on. What happens because of these lines?

We end up separating ourselves from wilderness and wild things; this separation makes going to nature a privilege, not a guaranteed right.

When I pay attention to my surroundings, I do see wilderness everywhere, but it’s a different kind, it’s the shadows of that real, wild, intense wilderness that we place behind National Park gates. The main thing, for me, that’s different between the shadows and real experience is wilderness does not draw lines. That tree is for whoever wants to climb.

Kate passed me another post card. “This one is from Dovedale; ‘The Rambler’s Paradise.'” she told me. I held the small rectangle in my hand.

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