Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My love for my planet

Today I was walking over to my neighbor's house to ask if he had any work for me to do. On the property between ours that was logged two weeks ago I was with his grandchildren, an 11 and a 4 year old, both boys. The 11 year old was climbing all over the piles of logs with his BB gun practicing his targeting and the 4 year old was talking about how he hates puddles because he fell in one a few weeks ago. AFter taking psychology it was so cool to see their ages from a totally new perspective. We talked about height as we went around the vehicle in the middle of the yard, it was a good time. The four year old went home to take a shower which he probably just finished as I am writing this. He was shooting all over the yard and I realized he needed a target. I took a piece of cardboard and a sharpie from my house (which I just took out of my pocket) and drew two circles with a bullseye at the center so he could practice with that instead. He is excellent. We ran some science experiments on how pumping the gun multiple times affects the speed of the bullet (it doesn't, he thought it made it go faster, but after an experiment with 5 pumps, 4 pumps, and 1 pump the gun was only capable of going through three sheets of poster board. He loves walking around the north side of his property and his neighbors which is still forest. When I was his age I did that every day for a couple hours exploring on what is now his property and the recently logged property next to mine. We walked to "the creek" which is a small stream about 2 feet wide and six inches deep at its deepest. I haven't 't walked there for a few years, because I have been busy with other things. I have been deeply involved in environmentalism in my school for the past four years, but walking through that stream I saw it for the peaceful marsh that it is.
I then remembered how I have grown up around these beautiful places where many people are not fortunate enough to live close to wilderness. They live in suburbs or inner cities a long way from true wild lands. The only time they might be exposed to wilderness in their entire lives is when they go to summer camp as children. The planet becomes distant from their homes and they never go to places that are wilderness. I remembered why I identify with the environmentalist movement so strongly, because I believe we need to make sure that we need to protect all species from extinction and keep places wild so that our world's environment which depends on the small ecosystems across the world can be a great place.