Monday Morning Musings

Posted on June 11, 2018 under Monday Morning Musings with 4 comments

An evening at Crystal Cliffs

It was with some bemusement that I listened to the call in show on CBC’s Maritime Noon last Friday on a short road trip to Port Hawkesbury. A professor at Cape Breton University has been awarded a $350,000 grant to “study the links between leisure and nature”, as the lead in to the story indicated. Excuse me but do we really need a $350,000 study to tell us that a walk in the woods is good for the body and the soul? Regular readers know that I wrote a post about this very topic on May 28th and didn’t get paid a cent to pass along the wisdom of 66 years on this planet.

How sad that it has come to this. We now have to instruct people in the fine art of combining nature and leisure. It’s not surprising with the amount of time many people spend staring at a screen of one sort or another. At least we old farts have the benefit of having grown up in a two channel television universe. Our parents threw us out of the house when we were children and nature was our playground. Nowadays in big cities, people are calling child welfare authorities when they see kids playing outdoors unchaperoned.

I don’t think we need an expensive study to tell us what we know. To feel better, ditch the electronic devices and get the hell out of the house for a few hours.

It is tragic that many children and young adults will never experience the wonders of nature like the symmetry of a spider web or the flight of a monarch butterfly. They won’t get to see turtles laying their eggs on a graveled road or wild, fragrant flowers blowing in the breeze. If they hit the pause button and go to The Landing, they might see an eagle teaching its young how to fly or a beaver hauling branches to build its home. Sadly, most young people will never experience the pure joy of climbing a tree or building a fort. Soppy sentimentalism you say? I don’t think so. A generation devoid of experiencing the outdoors in an unstructured way can hardly champion the environment later in life.

We routinely take our grandchildren to local beaches. Looking for rocks, shells, and other treasures is surely one of the most rewarding experiences for a young child and adults.

It doesn’t require a research grant to state the obvious connection between leisure and nature.

Have you heard enough about Trump and Ford? I thought so. But here’s my tiny postscript to the Ontario election. On the day of recent election, I polled a few friends who live in Ontario. Full and complete disclosure: they are Maritimers and see the world through a different set of lenses! You could sense the trepidation about what was to happen. Here is what I wrote to one of them: “It’s so tragic that politics has become so tribal all over the world. It doesn’t matter who the candidate is any more. It’s about winning at any cost regardless of morals, ethics, or talent. A very sad time for democracy. Actually, democracy is under siege.”

Winston Churchill once said that “democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.”

It is indeed a worrisome time in the history of the human race but this is nothing new. We just know about things instantaneously.

Here’s an idea. Stop fretting about things you can’t control (like Trump’s Twitter feed). Grab a friend and go for a walk, preferably with someone young who doesn’t get out in the fresh air often. Show them the flowers of a chestnut tree like the one below. Tell them that these beautiful flowers will turn into brown chestnuts. In a few weeks’ time, go back and take a prickly chestnut, bust it open, and show them how to make a chestnut necklace. Worry will soon disappear.

Have a great week.



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4 Responses to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Anne Marie says:

    I remember chestnut necklaces made with friends on the street who had a big tree at the edge of their driveway. Hours of amusement garnered from that tree. I can picture everything vividly all these years later. I should go visit the old neighborhood and see if that big old tree is still standing! Thanks for triggering a great memory!!

  2. Chistina says:

    Well said. Brought back many memories, especially of being sent outside… For the day! Smile.

  3. Greg Albert says:

    That money would be better given to the food bank or some poor kids that are starving and have Know Mother and Father to look after them.

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