About

  A place to meet, a place to speak, a place to grieve, a world to love  

Edgewood Wild owes a debt of gratitude to the Secwécpemc People, on whose traditional lands it took root, and from whose traditional ways it takes inspiration.

W

e have entered a new age of the world, the Pandoracene: the time of consequences.

The Pandoracene opened in the early years of this century, when deepening environmental destabilization driven by climate change finally upended 11,000 years of relative environmental stasis – the same stasis that cradled human civilization from its infancy.

Ever since then, accelerating environmental change has become the new status quo and uncertainty our common lot, a trend expected to continue many human generations into the future.

dragonfly

Gone now is the benign, turn-the-other-cheek world that serenely absorbed whatever we cared to throw at it.

In its place looms a volatile, eye-for-an-eye world of heat and drought and storm and dying – a world that makes headline news almost daily, a world that, so it is said, may one day upend human civilization itself.

Not convinced on this last point? Maybe have a look at the projected impacts of climate change on the geopolitical order of the world.

In the end it comes to this: that our assumptions about human dominion over the Living World are provoking its transfiguration into an angry god. And this also: that the longer we cling to these assumptions, the poorer must be our prospects.

Edgewood Wild draws inspiration from Indigenous reverence for the Living World that sustains us. It asks about the possibility of bolstering Western culture with a similar ethic of reverence – an ethic grounded, say, in the emerging scientific understanding of life itself. What could that look like? And what can we do personally to get there?

Edgewood Wild. I’m your host and sometime-provocateur, Trevor Goward.

Edgewood Wild: the Project

Edgewood Wild is invitation to gather in community for wild immersion and wide-ranging conversation. Long-term, its aim is to help catalyze a paradigm shift toward knowing and reverencing the Living World. Day-to-day, its currency is insight, inspiration and wayfinding in troubled times. Programmes are built around the interpretive walks and focus sessions described here, supplemented by the themes explored in the essay links at bottom of this page. The preferred format is show-and-tell, question-and-answer, and group discussion tending, serendipitously, to epiphany.

Edgewood Wild: the Place

The venue is home, my home, Edgewood Blue: four hectares of woodland, meadow, wetland, pond, garden, grounds, and a house with a red, red roof – all concentrically cradled by 56 ha of protected wildlands and, beyond that, 540,000 ha of wilderness parkland stretching away to the skyline in three compass directions: north, west and east. Lodging and meals are available nearby.

tree canopies

Edgewood Wild: the People

Edgewood Wild is for people for whom partying till it’s over seems like a poor life choice.

  • Born Naturalists in search of community.
  • Seekers in search for meaningful connection with the Living World.
  • Higher-level educators in the arts and sciences.
  • Teachers, parents and others worried for today’s youth.
  • Young people themselves in search of quest.
  • Artists, poets, writers and thinkers in search of Gaian literacy.
  • Environmentalists in search of upgrade to Gaianism.
  • Decision-makers of every stripe and persuasion.

In short, it’s for people who feel called to a vocation that in western culture has no name.

Edgewood Wild: the Basics

Here are ten preliminary principles and tasks en route to Gaian Reconciliation.

1: Climate change poses an existential threat to organized human civilization – not angry weather directly, but its power to amplify other threats and destabilize the geopolitical order of the world.

2: Greenhouse gas emissions are not the ultimate cause of the Climate Crisis. The ultimate cause is our culture of more.

3: Technofixes deployed against climate crises in a culture of more can never resolve, only postpone. Something more is needed: Gaian Reconciliation.

4: Gaian Reconciliation means personal commitment to a privileged spiritual understanding of the Living World as in some sense alive, perhaps even sentient.

5: To expect governments to lead on Gaian Reconciliation is an error. Either it begins grassroots, through heartfelt experience, or it does not begin at all.

6: A time will come when the accumulated material and psychological wreckage of climate change forces a top-down paradigm shift in our relation to the only world we’ll ever know.

7: In the meantime, there are four tasks at hand, maybe more. The first task is to apprentice to the ways of the Living World, not least the life-affirming story that biological science has lately begun to tell about it.

8: The second task is to come to terms – personally, viscerally – with what it means to be alive at a time when the Living World is acquiring godlike powers.

9: The third task is to brainstorm, articulate, network and ultimately sustain a life-affirming response to the Pandoracene – a response that will be “in the air” when the coming paradigm shift arrives.

10: Finally, the fourth task is to gestate a vocation that currently has no name in our culture – a calling whose adherents administer spiritual and moral guidance with respect to the Living World, just as today’s clergy offer spiritual and moral guidance with respect to God.

Edgewood Wild: About me

Trevor Goward by James Holkko in 2020

Hi. I’m Trevor Goward, a lichenologist, place-based naturalist and self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and deer trails. I’m also co-curator of lichens at UBC and author/co-author of 130 scientific papers, scores of popular writings, and four books. Together with Jason Hollinger, I maintain two popular websites: http://www.waysofenlichenment and http://1000clearcuts.ca/ . When not gardening or wandering/pondering the wilds of the Upper Clearwater Valley in south-central British Columbia, I engage in numerous seemingly random pursuits and thought experiments including designer living, land apprenticeship, naturalist mentorship, wilderness advocacy, systems theory, poetic ecology, the mythic universe of J.R.R. Tolkien, and (through this last) a stewardship practice I refer to as ‘elvenwork,’ cutesy or not.

Why Edgewood Wild? If I can I’d like give something back to generations of humans and wild relations whose future prospects my own generation has greatly dimmed.

Edgewood Wild: How to find out more?

That’s easy. Just click on the two green tabs. Terms & Concepts summarizes the big ideas advanced by Edgewood Wild, while You Brew provides details on how to get involved.

About this Website

This website consists, for now, of about 70 “windows” on the Living World, each a short essay. Forty-five of these re-examine western cultural assumptions in light of the Pandoracene. Most of the remaining ones are intended to introduce talking points for campfire conversations.

UniverseWeather TalkThe WildGaianismBook of Edgewood
GodThe PandoraceneGod on EarthIsland EarthSister Trees
LifeClimate ChangeNew WorldWillder TrailsCanine Friendship
EmergenceHuman Mind“Living World”Wilderness DebateGaian Reconciliation?
EarthFork in the RoadEnlivenmentIndigenizingLichen Revival
GaiaShadow PeopleWeb of LifeSharing MothersDeertrails
Gaian AxiomsWar of the WorldKincentricityCaringYou Brew
EnlichenmentBorn NaturalistsNeighbourhood
Naturalists?
Pandoracene
Pathfinders?
Apprenticeship
The Lichen RuleFour PathsStrangleholdPark Naturalists?Readings