“Look into nature and you will understand everything better” -Albert Einstein
I have had many opportunities to embrace nature and to ‘disrupt the common sense of wilderness’. A few stand out in my memory of times I was able to connect with nature and find meaning in the wild.
The first experience I remember fondly is camping in the summers with my family. I spend a large majority of my summer camping as a child and as a result I was able to attend many summer programs held by parks. At these programs I went on nature hikes, watched plays, made crafts and listened to environmental educators talk. From these programs I learned a considerable amount about conserving the environment and the history of the land. This disrupted the ‘common sense’ meaning of wilderness because we were able to go more in depth and learn about trading posts, aboriginal culture and facts about the indigenous plants and wildlife.
The second experience I remember is outdoor ed. In my senior year I attended a week long canoe trip. This trip took place in a remote corner of north Saskatchewan that is completely untouched by humans. While on this trip I had the honour of seeing cave drawings made by the indigenous people hundreds of years ago. This experience as a whole was eye opening and life changing. It showed me the truth in our society in the sense that we destroy beautiful and maginicfiacnt landscapes so that we can feed our consumer driven way of life. This experience made me like an invader of the land because I saw what our environment looked like before we altered it to fit our wants.
The third and final experience that came to mind for this prompt was my experience as a nature interpreter. I talk about this experience a lot but I am able to draw a lot of connections from this job. When I took the job had minimal knowledge about nature and through researching for my job and learning from training I was able to gain a better understanding about the plants and animals that surround us. This was a full circle experience for me in the regard that I used to regularly attend these summer programs and now I run them. It disrupted my idea of common sense because I never realized how delicate and intercaste our eco system is, without one element the other cannot survive.
In conclusion, all these experiences have made me immensely more aware of the reality of our environment. I now see the beauty, complexity and importance of environment.