February 27, 2018
I recently wrote a post on how magic happens when you Synch Yourself With Nature. I am lucky enough to be living a life where I can make that happen on a regular basis. I mostly work on my own schedule and that allows me to work more on “rest days” when I am tired or when the conditions are best for outdoor play. That’s part of my privilege. I recognize that my situation makes that easier for me than for other people, and I’m thankful for that. People of different socio-economical backgrounds, people of color, people from recent immigration, people from First Nations face challenges that I will never fully understand. Because that’s what privilege does, it shelters you from those experiences to the point where you are oblivious to their existence.
I am also quite thankful to my upbringing. I grew up in the country where being outdoors, in nature was a normal part of my childhood play. Our parents would let us roam free in the woods until it was too dark to see. At the tender age of 5, I was already bugging my grandpa to take me out fishing in the Harricana River that flowed in our backyard.
All of it probably made up for the fact that my working class family did not have much money for trips. We didn’t often go camping because camping equipment was expensive, most of our adventuring and expeditions were free one. Yet, I grew up caring for, and appreciating nature because I was so close to it. The sent of pines, still to this day bring up the best memories.
When I look back on all the #SeroStories we have created, I see a recurring theme. So many of those love bounds with nature started in childhood. Wether from growing up with it, like me, or fuelled by a passion transmitted by parents, teachers, elders. Those early experiences shaped their lives in a way they probably never imagined.
Last year, John wrote a piece on how Access to Nature varies across the country and how difficult it can be in certain areas to access it for free. Well, we have good news coming from last weeks 2018 Budget from the Canadian Federal Government. Now I have not intention to be making politics in this post, however, I want to send praise for one specific measure. Starting January 1st 2018, youth aged 17 and under have permanent free access to all federal parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas operated by Parks Canada, recognizing “… that our quality of life, and our present and our future prosperity, is deeply connected to the environment in which we live.”
It made me soooooo happy to know that the following generations of kids will have increased opportunities to interact with nature, to build happy memories with their environment, to learn about conservation, our impact on the world and the importance to take actions to preserve it AND to develop the understanding that we are connected intrinsically to the world we live in; a real, deep connection that no electronic/digital/social creation can even come close to mimicking. In the current era where chronic disconnection made greater by our addiction to technologies affect the emotional and mental health of children and young adults at an alarming rate, this is more than welcomed from the mental wellness perspective.
I like to think nature should be accessible to all, for free and this is a step in the right direction. I like to think that more underprivileged kids will get to build a bond with nature and that, in the long run, this will benefit our country as a whole. Long term vision in politics is not something we see often these days and it pleases me greatly.
Take a kid outside and you’ll see the world with children’s eyes again.