Sipping coffee while absentmindedly looking out the window at the snow-covered mountains may not seem like the best use of my time. Due to my hectic schedule, this is the most rejuvenating and reinvigorating activity I can do for my mental health. Life is so busy for the majority of us that we must take these occasional breaks from reality. Although I wish that we could live in a region that is always +24C degrees, I realize this cold weather and snow is good for our land. The -25C temperature we had over the winter was good for the pine trees and hopefully killed off the pine beetles which will encourage a healthier forest. Moments like this help me realize that everything in this world was created to coexist.
I recently read a book, given to me by a good friend, written by Rupert Ross. One point really stood out to me about the relationship the early inhabitants of North America (aka Turtle Island) had with this land and how their knowledge impacted their daily lives. If one element is impacted then all of nature is impacted. An example from the book was when the author asked a woman, who was busy picking blueberries, how the crop was and the woman answered that the bears had a rough year. This man was wondering why she had answered like that, but to her it was obvious as she grew up knowing the habits of the bear. If the bears had a lot of game to eat they would leave the blueberries alone, but if they had a rough year the bears would focus on the berries. If they focused on the berries the crop would be smaller for the human population.
With the coming of spring many of us will be busy planting crops, flower beds or worrying about our trees and lawns. Due to our desire to have the best looking lawns, flower beds or crops we often use synthetic chemicals to replace the lost nutrients from our land use practices. Just like you and I need the occasional break to reenergize, the land needs that as well. Please be mindful of the chemicals used to treat your crops, trees and lawns as they may impact many species of animal or insects that visit your flowers, fruit, lawn or crops.
Like the bears, flowers and the land, we all have needs that we all must have in our lives, such as connection. There’s been an increase in mental health issues, addictions and general hopelessness which leads to life-threatening decisions. I’m encouraging everyone to take a fraction of the energy they use in making their lawns or flower beds look great and make a connection to someone who needs it. We all coexist together and not everyone has the resources to go out and stand by a window looking out at our beautiful world. Sadly, some people live a life of daily survival and cannot afford to stop and smell the proverbial roses. Our communities all have people who can use a hand up, rather than a hand out, and sometimes a kind word or deed may be their first kind thing they have experienced in a long time.