Literary Nonfiction. Essay. Environmental Studies. CULTIVATING THE WILDERNESS WITHIN recounts two decades of woods wandering and soul-searching in the wake of Walt McLaughlin’s solo immersion in the Alaskan bush. Disorientation slowly gives way to affirmation. These interwoven and deeply personal essays explore one man’s wild urges, as well as the wildness he finds in family and friends, while considering the various ways in which humankind as a whole engages and disengages from the natural world. The prospects are both hopeful and perilous.