Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kids and Nature: Absolute Necessity?

 It was December when this major snow hit many years ago and my son Matt, then six, went walleye fishing with me on the Delaware at an obscure spot where a fire doesn't bother anyone. Look below, and you'll see there was even a ring. It was not a campsite.

Honoring children and the outdoors is a paradox: sometimes you have to smile; you have to show you are not oblivious to the humility "real outdoorsmen" might expect you to feel for having this care. But you smile all the more effectively if you conceal irony of your own behind the appearance they care only to see, perhaps.

The issue may actually be, in fact, as serious as whether human beings and life on earth will survive or be destroyed.

If we disconnect from nature, we are de trop as French philosophers put it. We don't depend on nature, we are in, of, and we are nature. Anything else is a lie. All that we produce and call human-made is no more than rearrangement of the naturally given. And lies can't do that.

I didn't teach my son to build the fire that afternoon. I asked him to join me. Yes, he built it.

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