Backline = Offline

“Of all the world’s creatures, perhaps those in the greatest need of rewilding are our children. The collapse of children’s engagement with nature has been even faster than the collapse of the natural world. In the turning of one generation, the outdoor life in which many of us were immersed has gone. Since the 1970s the area in which children may roam without supervision in the UK has decreased by almost 90 per cent, while the proportion of children regularly playing in wild places has fallen from over half to fewer than one in ten”.
                                                                                                     George Monbiot – FERAL

A wooden boardwalk leads down onto Jbay’s arena of dreams. Get there before sunrise, when amber light is oozing in across the stacked-up lines as dawn begins to bleed in over the #Kouga ranges to the east. Should you step beyond the beaches onto the fizzured rocks snarling at the foam line, you are poised to immerse yourself within the embrace of ‘the world’s greatest wave’. What awaits is a fluid and feral aqua universe where alternative laws hold true, and where you must adjust your rhythm and attitude in order to thrive.

It is a visceral and viscous space, ever-changing and alive with schools of glistening mullet and translucent jellyfish, where dolphins and stingrays and skuas hunt 24/7, and where a tremor of exquisite thrill main-lines you into the power pulsing deep within the ocean core. Fierce and unexpected experiences are the rule rather than the exception, allowing us ‘ecologically-bored’ humans to reconnect with – and overcome – all those primal fears isolating us from our natural world.

It brings me such joy to see our children live and thrive in these spaces, Karyn Marais. We tend to fear the wrong things in this world of ours, where chairs and cars and fast food kill countless of millions more people than great white sharks, yet we sensationalise and demonise the wild creatures roaming an ever- decreasing part of the planet. The truth is that we should assimilate this fear of the unknown into our lives to moderate how we live, but find it more and more difficult to make peace with our lack of control over our immediate environment. It is time to let go and return to our wild-at-heart roots.

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