David Suzuki's tagline on his newsletters is 'Solutions are in our Nature'.
This piece reflects and in some ways summarizes one of his past newsletter's theme.
It won't be long before 70% of our population will be living in urban areas as opposed to our natural environment in nature. Rural life is being abandoned faster than the proverbial 'speeding bullet'.
Urbanization generally has the added characteristics of faster, more stressful living in a more challenging environment. Mental health issues like anxiety and mood disorders are more prevalent in urban living.
Each of us can bear witness to the large number of people that want to return to their roots. It's an opportunity to live the life that may have been left behind, to refresh old friendships and quite simply to reduce stress.
In my three score plus years I've lived almost entirely in a rural location. City life is wonderful yet once I've had a visit I'm ready to get back home. Walking in the woods, breathing fresh air, feeling the warmth of the soil in the spring, seeing the first rush of flowers, hearing the spring peepers and the sounds of birds singing all become part of my thirst for more.
In the same manner that I enjoy many aspects of my city escapes I suggest that you'll find an amazing amount of refreshment in exploring the country, if indeed you don't discover that it's good for you.
So what's my point?
My rural background and 'country boy gene' never really kicked into higher gear until I rediscovered Shelburne (and, of course, a certain special someone). I'm talking about Shelburne Town but more accurately the countryside and waters that surround it here on our amazing Southwestern Nova Scotia Shore.
You can make that same discovery as I did. My little bit of heaven always involved a too busy lifestyle and though it has the country feel it's still close enough to urban reality.
'Calm' is the single word that best expresses the feeling. It comes from the greater Community we live in. It's difficult to put one's finger on something that makes that an 'aha moment. I understand why now'.
It's in the water, it's on the streets, it's palpable in people's eyes. David Suzuki's article put the scientific spin on it.
This may resonate with you? And I'll assume it does for many. While I'd love for you to come and visit The Cooper's Inn and discover what I'm talking about, that's really not the essence of what I want to communicate.
You may come to believe as I do that there is something truly remarkable about exploring the less traveled pathways and doing it without necessarily abandoning the creature comforts that seem like they are 'must haves'.
It takes more than a night and a day away. It takes a few days to unwind, to breathe the calm and quiet in, to ease the restless spirit and become re-sensitized.
There's the usual things to do like walking and reading and watching the birds. There are islands to explore, abandoned rail lines to walk, beaches to discover, songs to sing and hear, food to satisfy your belly and a 'calm' world to sate your being.
Sometimes all these things can be found close to home. So biking in a nearby park may help fulfill the need. When you really want to get a 'different kind of hold' on it you'll find your way to this neck of the woods or a reasonable facsimile. As my Dad says, in other terms, 'we're not so far in the woods that you have to come out to hunt' yet, we're certainly on the path less traveled.
Often we owe it to our friends and family but particularly ourselves to rediscover or perhaps discover for the first time those aspects of life that matter most.
And no, money generally can't buy this. Is it 'your time to get off the beaten track?'