In a lot of ways, I’m seeing now that at the root of the outdoors lies a necessity in having a true relationship with the solace of wooded lands. Perhaps it’s not so much the fact that people don’t care about nature but that they don’t have a reason to. Of course, we hear all the time that global warming is increasing and the ice caps are melting but we don’t really understand why it actually matters. To my life, it doesn’t. On the surface it’s just another dooms day warning. If I look right now at the kind of life I lead, it’s not apparent that anything is wrong. It’s only because I wish to see all things as close to wild and as healthy as possible that I truly care at all.
“Where does that come from?” I thought to myself.
The answer to this question is something that is of extreme importance to me, because it tells me so much about human perception towards the outdoors and thus serves as a good guide to TheOutLife’s message. When I reach out to ask people, they usually tell me that their relationship with nature was instilled within them at an early age. It’s as if the seed was planted young and grew later into action when the flower bloomed.
This means, at least to me, that children are the most affected by an outdoor education. However, it’s the children that we will pass the outdoors to in the future. Now, the question still remains, what can we do to inspire a relationship with nature? How do we reach the young adults and full-ledged adults in all their hectic lives to go outside?
I’d like to see this relationship be defined by an emotional connection to the land. Whether through trees or rivers, I want more people to speak of them with an awe and respect befitting their favorite movie or pop music band. I want to use nature as a basis for life lessons, inspiration, excitement, and happiness.
This is the connection I have with the land. To me it’s cleansing and filling and scary and soothing and summed together with all the trees and rivers and lakes and streams, the outdoors is a place I find mirrors much of life.
If the modern perception of outdoors continues to be “outside” or away from people in all its dirty, buggy messiness, then there’s no reason to protect anything. It will become too easy to pave over the dirt and pull native plants to make space for manicured lawns.
How though, how do we reach those who are not children? Those who have grown up being shipped from box to box without finding the vast open lands of the outdoors?
I suppose that’s the question isn’t it?
What do you think?