A Feral Freedom to be Wild

a wild horse grazes in a campground on Assateague Island


I’ve been lead to believe that once an animal has ever been tamed, neither it nor its descendants can ever be considered truly wild again.

They are, forever no matter how long the lineage, considered feral.

I sit not particularly perturbed by the high winds on an Assateaugue Autumn Monday afternoon. They are keeping my half-hearted attempt at sustaining a dwindling fire going, and that’s all any man could really ask of Mother Nature.

But it is the setting, not myself, which is the key player. Horses, wild or feral, roam about, bloated on salty sea plants and not particularly looking for a fight, but happy to make it known who owns the island if approached. We make an encounter. Or two, and then three. A beautiful captivation of one another ensues. Children are enamored, their parents endeared.

Kiteboarders tame the wind. Scarf and sunglasses bearing hoodie wearers defeat the blowing sand. Wet cottonwood twigs used as kindling defy the fire while soaking up the blowing sea air. A big moon rises, every night changing just a little. Peculiar, but no more so than the red and gold blasting blazing new hues across what we’ll all be seeing and wondering hopeful over the next month or two.

As the maples go green to red, as oaks bare their treasure chest golds and as every shrub, vine and trick-or-treater alike dons false garbs in one last huzzah at life lived blue and warm before winter lays blanket, we all in our horse drawn campground find solace in the sleep.

The sleep that leaves dreams for the feral, because I know for sure that humanity has tamed, and I want nothing more than the feral wish of freedom to be wild.