Volume 9: Serious Play

Published in 2001

Play implies a surrendering to the senses. Rachel Carson’s A Sense of Wonder reminds us that the time spent outdoors with the mind of a child is the most important kind of work. John Muir found inspiration to continue his struggle to save the Hetch Hetchy valley by swinging from a great sequoia in a snow storm. In winter, a lone raven slides down a snow covered bank on its back, only to climb the hill and try it again. For each of them, play is an expression of courage, curiosity and awe.

The 9th issue of Whole Terrain will explore our human tendency to separate the play we observe in non-human nature from the quality of play in our own lives. What is play? How does it emerge in evolution, and what is its ecological value? What place does the imagination have in acts of restoration and renewal? Is there room for humor, color and make-believe?

We are accepting for consideration submissions that share perspectives on the value of play in the environmental field. Focus ideas might include childhood experiences of play in the natural world; encounters of interspecies play and the relationship between animals and the landscape; and play as a resource that helps balance wonder and doom.

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