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  • Writer's pictureValentine Smith

Polar explorer John Rymill's country-town upbringing prepared him to lead an Antarctic expedition

Here is another book for my Christmas list. A fascinating story of determination, strength and resilience. It seems to me that there is a universal story of need, that is for all creatures to have a need to go 'bush', into the wilderness, especially us 'domesticated' critters. Dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, you name it, most of us at some time feel the urge to get off the beaten track, to wander into the vast unknown and feel the wonder of the natural world. I think our world leaders need to recognise how unnatural urban domestication is and move even faster towards protection of and regeneration of wild places. It's too late to protect the environment by reducing our population back to a few million wandering hunter-gatherers. However, the education and experience of the wilderness is one of our last outposts of freedom. Maybe outdoor recreation could at least become re-tagged as outdoor energising, and we could treat the wild places as renewing every aspect of what we are, an animal. Climate action and carbon trading should include extra points for those countries that protect and increase the wild places. Thank you to Liz and Peter Rymill, and the ABC for sharing this, another wonderful story of a human with adventure and the environment in his blood. it fits in with our journey, ‘Footprints In the Wilderness'


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