Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why I care...

Rustic living, Northern Manitoba, 1991. (That's me on the right.)

Hauling my sled past open rapids at -40 below.
I am who I am today because of the lessons I learned from Mother Nature. You see, back in 1991, when I was 20 years old, my friend David Scott and I went to live like Grizzly Adams for one year in northern Manitoba, Canada. We built a cabin and lived without electricity, plumbing or communications, 120 miles away from the nearest town, Churchill, Manitoba, The Polar Bear Capital of the World. Living in the wilderness changed me profoundly and forever. I learned lessons I may not have learned otherwise. It taught me patience. It taught me the difference between wants and needs. It taught me the importance of weighing the consequences of my choices. It taught me the importance of conservation and sustainability. It taught me how fragile and tough nature is.  It taught me about the interdependence and connectedness of life and our environment. It taught me death is simply part of natures way. It taught me how amazing running hot potable water and abundant chocolate are! I learned all of this and much, much more. Many of the lessons I learned, perhaps the most profound ones, I am convinced are best taught by Mother Nature in wild places. Having spent much time in major cities too, I am also convinced many of these life lessons cannot be learned in a city. This is why I believe it is so important to preserve and protect wilderness. I am afraid that if we lose wilderness, we will lose are ability to have an accurate perspective about what life really is and our role in it. This would not only be tragic. It would be self-destructive and devastating to the human race.
On the Churchill River, mapping our progress.

The Little Beaver River.