Everywhere I look from my house I can see the handiwork of mankind. The land is broken up into little pieces with fences and with lines of trees. If I wanted I could look up on maps exactly which piece of land has belonged to who, for the last 150 years or so. The trees that separate these plots of land are alien trees, brought by man from distant lands, and the land is dotted with large animals people have also put there. Lines of poles carrying wires stretch across the land in places, and in other places there are roads, and every so often I can see the speck of a house or a shed. It is all tamed and humanised.
So I am pleased to be holidaying somewhere where I can appreciate the wildness of nature. Outside the window I can see nothing made by mankind. Stretching to the horizon is a plain unmarked by a fence, road, or permanent structure of any kind. There are no maps I can consult to see who has owned a plot of it. for no one ever has. As I sit I can see a vast creature moving across the plain, larger even than any animal that lived in my home country when it was wilderness, a creature which has doubtless travelled many thousands of miles without encountering the works of man.:
We are staying on the 20th floor of a hotel on the Gold Coast, facing the sea. From this height we can also hear practically nothing but the sea: all the ground-level sounds of the city are swallowed up in it except at rare intervals, when the sound of a human machine or a human voice cuts through the sound of the waves like a distant sound from the highway might reach me at home. There was other sound I noticed this morning, striving mightily with the sea: birdsong. So it is like being entirely alone with the wilderness.
Furthermore I have here no internet, and have not bothered to go downstairs and buy any newspaper in the shopping centre twenty floors below, so I am removed from the flow of the affairs of other human beings that I am usually immersed in. In a few days no doubt I will be glad to return to civilisation. But for now I am happy in this solitude.