airplane as a wilderness setting

the mental picture I take of all eight 5th grade boys muddy and smiling, sitting on the fallen log just when the sun bursts out from behind the clouds, when for the moment all of them are miraculously not complaining or picking on each other, or getting their socks unnecessarily soaked in all of the small mountains of melting snow. I hoot and holler for a minute and they look at me funny. i frame my fingers in front of my eyes click i tell them its for #mentalinstagram.


when the fire only lasts for a minute or two at a time in the sodden fire pit, with soaking logs and crumpled birch bark but I let them blow on the coals and keep on trying anyway. they are all working together and taking turns feeding small twigs into the flame /not flame anymore. j, the smallest of all of them, is laughing and talking at the same time with a mouth full of a burnt marshmallow and caramelized sugar all around his lips and stuck in his braces.


how the teacher of the Wilderness First Aid course i am taking over the weekend points out that an airplane is a wilderness setting, and I imagine a 747 with old growth oaks growing between the seats. but I want to ask seriously what if we box up and label all of the earth’s wilderness as resource, and then the only time we can practice wilderness medicine is in the sky.

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