Monday, April 28, 2008

Feeling closer to nature

The purpose of an upcoming getaway to Nova Scotia is, in part, to feel closer to nature, via escaping the crowded suburbs of Greater Boston for more peaceful surroundings. I recently traveled (see blog posts "Tropical Changes" and "Tropical Changes - Part II") to a desert tourist island, and while it was nice to be with my family and in my element when it came to the amount of Americans nearby, it wasn't the comforting atmosphere that's advertised. This is due in part to high expectations from American tourists and a bitter native class. Oops, there are no natives of Aruba as there's no bodies of fresh water there - replace natives with what we'd consider illegal immigrants in the States.

The trip to Nova Scotia promises a strong Gaelic cultural identity, one of the most well-crafted whiskies on these shores, hiking paths, beaches, and scenic drives. By contrast, once outside the resort areas of Aruba, one clutched one's wallet and simply wanted to get back to the beach as quickly as possible. One relatively short road trip aside, there wasn't much reason to leave the shelter of the resorts. The occasional nice house abounded inland, likely from wealthy Americans who can afford to keep a house with beach rights year-round.

Yesterday, I helped my father move some dirt. It seems a pretty simple thing, with no significance, right? Some contractors came and dumped some mulch and some dirt in his driveway so he could spread fresh mulch around for his plants, and spread the dirt around to certain areas of dead grass close to the foundation of his house. I was at the house, so he told me to grab a shovel and help out, and I did. Any time a child can work with a parent toward any sort of common goal is always a good bonding experience, but beyond that, it confirmed a sense of falsehood in working inside all day, under fluorescent lights. I realized that I'd much rather be outside - shoveling dirt - than inside typing on a computer during the work day. Not only do these activities reaffirm a connection with nature, they cleanse one's spirit.

Our society began to decay once we chose to prefer paper-pushing over working with and through the only true source of livelihood we have.

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