As I have just restarted the blog, there have been a lot of changes in my life that isn’t common knowledge. I will slowly introduce them as I progress…it’ll help with my newly renewed ambition to write for a living. Between my poems, planned media reviews, speeches and stories you’ll find them interspersed throughout.
One of those is I am now a Beaver Leader for Scouts Canada. This is Nathaniel’s second year in Scouting, and as I typically leave the time of his meetings open anyway I decided it was time to step up and help out. It’s a return to me for Scouting, twenty two years since I left as Past President of the Venturer company I helped found in Sutton West. Nathaniel moves onto cubs next year, but I’ll likely stay on to get Kyle involved when he starts.
Tonight our colony was invited to join the local cub pack for an outdoors event on a gorgeous multi-acre property near Alcona. A giant bonfire was roaring away when we got there, and the kids were all excited to see that much fire in one place. Following our customary group openings, we were led by the cubs leader (Akela) onto an amazing private trail system where we all spoke about the trees, the stars, forest safety and safe drinking water methods. I even had an opportunty to speak up and talk about The Lifestraw, an amazing device that everybody who loves hiking or survival should learn about. I was surprised that Akela, who was obviously a far superior woodsman to myself had never heard of it. It felt good to be more than just the rookie leader…I had something valuable to contribute.
Each child received a small glowstick to wear around their neck, which kept most of them enthralled and illuminated in what was otherwise a very dark walk. I loved it, but I could tell some of the younger kids were getting quite nervous. Nathaniel even came up and held my hand during some of the darker portions. I’m sure that was just to keep me safe. We collected some leaves that Nathaniel may use in an art project and soon returned to the fire. The cubs were playing some nighttime tag game and we figured that our kids would get crushed in all the chaos.
After I fulfilled my duties as leader, I packed up our gear and we started heading home. Almost immediately while driving down Innisfil Beach Road I noticed that there was an amazing moon rising on the horizon. I pointed it out to Nathaniel and gave him a bit to let the image sink in. The conversation started off apocalyptic.
“Dad, what would happen if the moon split in two?”
I trust in my sons brain, so I gave him the straight answer. “It would be catastrophic, bud. Our planet and the moon are tied together in a way. Where the moon is right now affects a lot things, like our oceans. If it moved, we would suffer horrible storms and stuff like that possibly for thousands of years. It would suck for every living thing on the planet.”
Nathaniel moved the conversation to something more pleasant.
“Dad, wouldn’t it be cool to be on the moon?”
“Maybe, bud. But without the right equipment it’s not safe. It’s too cold at one point of the day and two hot at others. Besides, there’s no air to breathe.”
“Well, I’m going to the moon, ’cause it’s awesome.”
Suddenly, I was hit by a bit of inspiration…the moment that drove me to tell this particular story tonight.
“Sure, it sounds awesome…but you know what’s even more awesome? What we did tonight. We have beautiful forests to walk through, trees and leaves to sketch, friends to laugh with and learn from. I need you to understand, Nathaniel that we shouldn’t take for granted what treasures we have right here. It’s important to really think about that, and to be able to pass that knowledge down to your kids and grandkids and so on.”
I’m not certain if he really thought about that or not, but he was quiet for the majority of the rest of the drive home. Even if he didn’t, that wasn’t important. You see, I wasn’t just talking to him. Much of it was for my own benefit. I too have been guilty of taking for granted many of the treasures I have had access to. I’m sure most of us do. Running from one activity to another while not truly absorbing the life lessons available to us.
It’s sychronicity at play. I started writing to prove something to my wife. That I was ready, willing and able to contribute to a more positive message we’re spreading in our own household. If I wasn’t in that mindset, I would have just seen a ball in the sky and been unable to reflect on the beauty around me. I didn’t need to wait for my kids or future grandkids to be able to tell cool stories. To give meaningful advice. I was merely waiting for myself.
October 2, 2012 – 11:47pm