It had rained on Wednesday night and the woods were alive with bird songs in early morning when dog and I headed out for a hike in our beloved Peterson Creek Park.
The rain made the forest look alive, eager to turn greener yet. The creek rushed in loudly churning foamy dollops, and we breathed in the fresh after-rain air.
Far across the river, the grasslands were a sight to behold: fresh green hues mixed in with last year’s dry grasses, morning clouds hanging low and promising of more rain yet.
On Sunday morning we stopped by the Overlanders beach: blue skies above fast-moving waters carrying logs and mounds of muddy foam, geese floating down the stream and gulls lined up on a sandy mound not covered yet by the water. Simple, repetitive, and beautiful reminders of nature’s compliance with the seasons.
There’s peacefulness is seeing these glimpses, more so as we find ourselves trapped in turbulent times.
Every time I see the landscape stretching in all directions and let myself surrender to its beauty, I get reminded of the big picture: the immense wealth of the natural world which we are to protect and see thrive way past our lifetime.
On April 30th it will be one year since the provincial government proposed 14 recommendations for the protection of old growth forests. As I write this, old-growth forests are still being logged, even though the surface they cover has been estimated to be at a worrying 415,000 hectares.
A lot depends on intact forests, our collective future well-being included.
It’s been said many times that what we do now will be reflected in the future of our children. It weighs heavier because now we know why healthy, standing trees are essential and should be left standing, and we know that logged forests translate into disappearing ecosystems. Death by a thousand cuts as they say.
One unfortunate victim is the woodland caribou, which is on the brink of extinction and here we are, perusing with heartbreak over yet another study that tells us that these iconic animals are in trouble, having lost twice as much habitat as they have gained in the last 12 years. By now we know that no animal species exists on their own, humans included.
We also know that if one form of natural landscape is affected, soon enough others will follow . Such as bodies of water, for example – rivers, lakes and ultimately the ocean.
The connection between land and water is unbreakable. We have been witnessing many cries for help, some amplified by human voices and remedial action. Adding our own, no matter how small, can help preserve our own mental well-being and sense of hope, and it can inspire others, as well as contribute to the larger-than-life cause of building a better future.
Yes, there are so many facets to preserving the natural world; our part in it is as honourable as it is obligatory.
The word legacy becomes heavier with each instance of present-day avoidable tragedies. When we know better, we can do better, right?
Through many of the opinion pieces I’ve shared over the years I did my best to draw attention to issues that pertain the above. The risk of not doing so, and of not doing as much as we can for the future of today’s children, is just too big.
The world has been changed as of a year ago due to the pandemic. The crisis brought upon by this small but mighty pathogen has also revealed many wrongs: racial and social inequities, food security and health crises both at home and around the world, and too many aggressions we inflict as a species on the natural world that has been sustaining human life since time immemorial.
Through this final column for CFJC*, I would like to leave you with these thoughts: more can be done, and more is being done as we speak by many already, which we ought to learn about and support in any way we can, because no matter what our personal beliefs are, we do share a common goal: thriving in today’s world, respectful of nature, and seeing our children thrive in the future world we build for them.
*Future opinion pieces will continue to be hosted by the Armchair Mayor News, and I will also continue to publish them here on my blog.