I wrote an article 10 years ago called “Encountering the Wilderness, Encountering the Mist: Nature, Romanticism, and Contemporary Paganism.” It was published in Anthropology of Consciousness, and it was the result of an independent study during my graduate coursework in Newfoundland.
Little did I know how much this research (really an extension of my personal practice) would affect the course of my life. I became fascinated with the ways in which people re-enchant the world as an antidote to the inherent isolation and loneliness of industrial modernization. Choosing enchantment felt like a radical act and I still think it is.
When we view the earth as alive and appreciate the wonder we are telling a different story, and, in effect creating new realities.
The stories we tell matter.
Now, I see this work in a different light. The world has changed, and awareness of the effects of social inequalities are also a big part of our collective healing.
Like Mary Oliver writes, “my work is loving the world.” I believe enchantment, awe and wonder still matter. Loving each other and seeing the ways in which we are interconnected matters. Learning to communicate in ways we can hear each other matters. Understanding that “our” stories are not the only stories matters. The stories we tell still create the world.
…On a side note, I started the original article with a bit about Kermit as a Romantic hero but it was cut from the published version (my pop culture references and writing experiments never seemed to be able to pass reviewers). One of the reasons I’m not so interested in pursuing traditional publishing routes anymore.