PREFACE TO SMALL WILDS

This is what we shall do: Love the life in the cracks, the spontaneous, unsanctioned, neglected and forgotten. Look for the small wilds, with patience and curiosity. These are the wilds close at hand, wedged between life’s big obligations. These are the margins of possibility and potential, undetermined and alive. Glance sideways always and follow unknown lanes, rough tracks, muddy bits. Take circuitous detours, diversions, parallel routes. Break into the locked gardens, in order to leave the gates open behind you. Go freely with the nettles, bracken, and grey herons, amidst fields of tires, boarded windows, old canals, and rail yards. Read these weeds in the open air, and listen to what they tell us. Dismiss the fear and the worry, but use the heartbreak to make new cracks to follow. 

(after Walt Whitman's Preface to Leaves of Grass (1855))