Summer is a season during which we spend a lot of time outdoors, the National Parks and States put forward a big effort to get people to vacation there, and with all the American holidays between the end of May and beginning of July we think a lot about the great land we live in. June 5th was World Environment Day, so today I wanted to share some thoughts about exploring and the great world we live in.
For the past few months I’ve been watching the live videos at explore.org. For a while they had some up from Africa and you could see the real non-zoo animals hanging out at watering holes and just walking around as they carry on their lives. Many of the feeds share about new life like puppies, birds hatching and the amazing cycle of life that we’re part of as humans. I get so excited to see the penguins moving the eggs, hummingbirds being fed and puppies being crazy and playing with each other because that’s not life for most of us, we’re in offices or homes and it’s just not our reality to experience these things on a daily basis and see how they grow.
It’s easy to forget that there’s a big world out there when we spend so much time in our concrete jungles and behind our computer screens, which is why some of us struggle so much with understanding or accepting climate change and the serious issues facing our world and environment today. We only are forced to face it when dealing with natural disasters that destroy homes or knock out power and internet access which screws up our perfect worlds or when something really big happens that decimates a species or impacts a large number of people visibly. So we have yet to come to the true realization and acceptance of the need for the natural world and how we affect it each day.
My challenge to you is to explore this summer. Explore your corner of the world, explore the websites of places like Yellowstone, Arches National Park and Cape Lookout National Seashore if you can’t get there, and make sure to include some wild and natural destinations in your vacations and travels this summer. Your kids may think it’s boring now, but looking back on them years later they’ll be able to appreciate the whole other world that we share this planet with that you shared with them, hopefully not for the last time.
“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.” Aldo Leopold