Getting lost

The word “lost” comes from the Old Norse los meaning the disbanding of an army, and this origin suggests soldiers falling out of formation to go home, a truce with the wide world. I worry now that many people never disband their armies, never go beyond what they know.  Advertising, alarmist news, technology, incessant busyness, and the design of public and private life conspire to make it so.  A recent article about the return of wildlife to suburbia described snow-covered yards in which the footprints of animals are abundant and those of children are entirely absent. As far as the animals are concerned, the suburbs are an abandoned landscape, and so they roam with confidence. Children seldom roam, even in the safest places.

Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to getting Lost

 

One thought on “Getting lost

  1. I can remember going out on summer mornings in my small town with my mother’s instruction: be home when the street lights turn on. Sometimes I came home for lunch; sometimes the bird nests and trees to climb and empty swings and monkey bars on the school playground were more interesting than food!

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