My first strong memory of interacting with nature was when my parents bought a kind of hobby farm on a very small west coast island in British Columbia, Canada when I was about eight years old. We had twenty-five acres and most of it was bluffs behind our house. My siblings and I used to use this 25 acre bluff and the neighbouring lands as our own personal playground. We would spend hours roaming the hills and following the feral sheep trails that circled the whole island. I knew all the routes by heart even when I got quite a bit further off our property than I should have been…literally hours of walking and never got lost. I remember feeling most at home during these wanderings. I knew each tree and bush, fern and rock along my routes like individuals and felt at home in the woods and open spaces like most people feel at home in their living room. I loved every piece of that land and when we moved away a few years later I felt like we were leaving behind a good friend. I wish all children could have this same experience. They might then appreciate the beauty and intrinsic value of each little natural place.
Posted: Friday, April 30th, 2010