Who would’ve thought that Elle Magazine would do a story on a rewilding center in New Mexico? It’s a beautiful essay on a thoroughly modern woman’s experience reconnecting with a childhood friend who reinvented herself as Loba (she-wolf, in Spanish), and now glides barefoot through the forest, lives a “feral” lifestyle, and helped form the Animá Wilderness Retreat Center and Women’s Sanctuary in a canyon in southwestern New Mexico, seven river crossings from the nearest road. One of the other forming members of this group is a Planet Thrive member, and thrills me almost daily on Facebook with her reports of wild meals (last week it was beaver and wild greens) and outings (yesterday she had sticky sap feet-bottoms from climbing trees in the forest).
When the writer gets “bath envy” after eyeing Loba’s outdoor tub, it reminds me of hot midnight solar showers in a meadow when I studied permaculture at an ecovillage in Oregon five years ago. There is nothing like a shower in the black of the night, lit by stars and accompanied by nature’s soundtrack.
‘Check out our bathtub,’ Loba said, pointing to an old clawfooted beauty that sat, unfettered by plumbing, in a clearing with a wide-open view of the green mountains beyond the canyon. They’d surrounded the tub with homemade adobe and rock walls close to a small fire pit. Loba explained that the fire heated the rocks and the rocks heated the tub, which they filled bucket by bucket with rainwater, ideally at sunset or beneath a full moon.”