The “rewilding seed” from mountains

November 2, 2012

I like to climb Veliki Rajinac. Neither the prettiest nor the highest peak of Velebit, but it is special to me because only there, leaning back on the deep soft mountain carpet and viewing the entire Adriatic Sea, I can easily unload my worries like nowhere else.

Intoxicated by the medicinal herb aromas carried by the salted air, I can easily imagine that there is no crisis and that the old saying “a man is a wolf to another man” does not apply.

Wiping the sweat from my forehead I feel that I absolutely belong to this mountain and this glade. Which evil spell is it that always makes us completely forget where we originate from, the very moment we put on a suit and tighten a tie?

Why can urban people no longer grasp the healing power of the energy of the mountain?

I have always been fascinated by the fact that all worries about what will happen tomorrow are absent from the faces of people who walk and spend some time in the mountains. The reason must be that they bring back from the mountains only what they carry in their hearts.

Yes, there are people who wonder: Why do the mountains no longer resonate with hooves of stamping herds hounded by wolf packs? Why can’t the deer roar from the shrubs, by which the king of the forest tells the others that he gathers his harem and warns the rivals away, be heard any more? Why are the pastures doomed to be overgrown by forest and thus the stage, where alternating scenes of life and death are played, be lost?

Right here, between these limestone cliffs battered by ancient rains and sweat of hard-working aborigines, “rewilding seed” begins to germinate – the idea that wants to provide an opportunity for a new beginning, to understand the wilderness as an unquestionable part of ourselves.

This mountain has waited so long for an initiative like this to appear. An initiative that would replace a gun with a camera and an ax with the teeth of ruminants. An initiative that wants to say that living conditions, culture and tradition do not need to be in collision with the protection of wildlife, and that by changing our attitude towards wilderness, we can create new values.

Reintroductions, bringing in new blood, increasing populations, organized breeding and wildlife monitoring are the new mantra that brings hope to this mountain.

The “rewilding seed” will enable one, only in a few hours by car or plane from any part of Europe, to experience an encounter with the bear, lynx, wolf or some other wild animals “from the first row” of the natural theatre, where thrillers, dramas and comedies written by the mountains are played right before your eyes.

And who knows, if you keep in your heart a small portion of Velebit wilderness, perhaps it is you, to whom it will give peace and erase traces of concerns about the future from your face.

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