Introducing Wonderground Issue Two: LOST

Rebecca Solnit, in A Field Guide to Getting Lost, suggests there are two definitions of loss. To lose an object, a person, a place. A literal disappearance. Or to lose yourself, which is less about deficiency and more about surrender, about being with what is unknown, unknowable mysterious. This is not always an easy landscape to traverse, because it means relinquishing ideas of control. But what is found might be worth it. ‘Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world,’ Henry David Thoreau writes in Walden, ‘do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.’

Here we are. Somewhere in-between lost and found, exploring Thoreau’s infinite extent of relations. Issue Two of Wonderground has emerged amid the hazy landscape of COVID-19 lockdowns in Sydney, Australia. It has come together in a way that is increasingly familiar. Me here, you there, words flying in from the other side of the world, or just down the road. It feels something like a borderless, boundaryless cloud, hovering in the air above my tiny studio next to the river. It is my responsibility, and privilege, to somehow tether it to the ground. Shape it into a form that makes sense.

Wonderground is a publication that exists to connect hearts to soil, through story. The stories in issue two of Wonderground achieve this, exploring notions of lost and found in ways that are profound, poetic and occasionally mad. It is with great pride, and hope, that I share them with you.

There is a phrase that has followed me around as I’ve worked on this issue. A sentence, penned by Robin Wall Kimmerer, that goes a long way towards articulating the underpinnings of Wonderground Issue Two. It is short, simple, and perhaps all that needs to be said. This: ‘The land knows you, even when you are lost.’

Wonderground Issue Two: Table of Contents

  • Artist Bill Henson moves his childhood garden – rock by rock, tree by tree
  • Cecil Howell explores ideas of loss and renewal in the botanical world
  • The fight to save an ancient tree amid a Black Summer firestorm, as told by Jason Cotter
  • Exploring the relationship between gardening and the mind with Sue Stuart-Smith
  • Gamilaraay woman Marika Duczynski gets to know Dyarubbin, the Hawkesbury River
  • New writing by award-winning author Amy Leach
  • Michael McCoy on a book that had a profound effect on his life
  • Georgina Reid writes of other-motherhood
  • David Whitworth explores new and old ways of seeing nature
  • Poetry by David Whyte, Dakota Feirer and Monique Germon
  • Camille Rouliére tastes loss and love in the garden
  • Robert Champion makes friends with an endangered plant
  • David Godshall of Terremoto chats about re-making landscape architecture
  • New fiction by award-winning author Inga Simpson
  • Artist Clare James tells of the joys of going off track
  • Elizabeth Farrelly discovers the reality of life on the land
  • Neha Kale uncovers fertile ground in the art of Agnes Denes, Nicole Foreshew and Asad Raza
  • Climate activist Lille Madden chats about climate justice
  • Gardening can be as much about seeing as making, suggests Georgina Reid
  • Tim Rushby-Smith learns how to stop

Wonderground Issue Two will be released on October 25, 2021.