One day I was walking along Alberta Street and it hit me: This is also the woods. This is the woods topped with concrete. This is the woods chopped and littered, built upon, trampled over. But it is still the woods. I am used to seeing the concrete and not the plants, but I could choose to see the plants and not the concrete.
Of course I really enjoy living in the city; I don’t oppose movies or bands or art shows or bars or book readings. I love socializing. I simply fantasize that instead of street lights we could all light mullein torches dipped in animal fat and ignited with cedar sticks spun against each other until heat combusted sawdust and someone gingerly transferred the small thing to a waiting ball of cattail fluff and blew oxygen on it until the coal glowed big and bright and hot. Instead of buildings dug into the Earth by gaping technological machines I imagine stick-and-leaf forts or cob cottages beside giant redwoods or in plains with wild plants growing everywhere, left to do their own seeding and their own living and dying, feeding and healing and sheltering the animals when they aren’t doing so for the humans (who are of course also a kind of animal).
I decided I will just play hunter-gatherer and pretend that’s where I live. I can play in what’s left of the woods at the end of the world.
And that, right there, is how urban foraging began.
P.S.: This is my asterisk.*