Does your imagination run wild whenever you see a beautiful picture of an old, secluded forest? Are you the type of person to face your fears and explore hidden, mysterious places? Then this list is for you.
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,” the poet Robert Frost tells us. We could add to that “mysterious” and even “magical.” A wilderness can also be threatening, dangerous, hostile to human survival. The wilderness is anathema to civilization; it calls to the ghosts of our distant ancestors where they sleep couched in the most primitive parts of our collective psyche, luring us, beguiling; we yearn for it, crave its embrace, secretly desire to lose ourselves in its impenetrable depths. Yet it has for us no pity. The wilderness is the home of the beasts and superstitions of our collective past. The werewolf still prowls there. And if our bones come to rest beneath the shade of its countless trees, it will mourn our passing not at all. Frost had it right; the woods ARE lovely. And equally as deadly.
We’ve lessened them somewhat, shrunk them down. It’s harder to lose oneself in them these days. There are, however, and thankfully, still wildernesses in our world. They still beckon to us, and we can still answer that summons. And, should we wander too far off the well-worn paths, pursuing the deeper shadows, they can still kill us.