Avainsanat:mires, aesthetic engagement, human-nature -relationship, experience narratives
Mires are no longer places of hard work, and now attract people for different reasons. This study is based on material gathered from an inquiry where people recounted their personal experiences of mires, and examines their voluntary engagement and subsequent relationship with them. The theoretical framework of this study is grounded in environmental aesthetics. I apply Arnold Berleant’s method of descriptive environmental aesthetics to the described experiences of mires. I also use Joseph Kupfer’s classification of different modes to aesthetically engage with nature. These modes – acting in or within nature; action which takes us into nature; acting against nature; acting with nature – reveal different aspects of the mire relationship. Engaging with mires deepens our material and mental connections to them. The findings suggest that an aesthetic engagement with mires can create new cultural understandings of them, and could result in more sustainable uses of mires in the future.