November 23, 2020

Before I Cared, I Felt Delight

by christopherabdo

"You need to become a regenerative farmer, or stop buying anything ever again, so we can save the perishing world because it's all going to hell and if you..."

No thanks. That really wasn't what made me care about the environment. It was NOT guilt. 

You know what made me care about the environment? It was pure delight and pleasure. I longed to feel that again, and I hope to never lose it. 

I moved to Canada around the age of 11 from San Antonio. San Antonio has very few trees that reach more than 20, maybe 30 feet tall and only just barely. Then I went to Canada and my jaw dropped: here was this incredible set of Christmas trees right across from our house that were the biggest Christmas trees I had ever seen in my life. As I approached them with wonder, I noticed how the needles were so dense that even in broad daylight, it was dark underneath their branches. Hiding underneath those branches were massive mushrooms...again, the biggest mushrooms I had ever seen. 

I never forgot that moment. 

I remember another time I saw my first African violet at a florist section of a grocery store called "Fortino's". I was totally awe-struck by the deepest, darkest purple blossoms above fuzzy foliage. Wow! (I then proceeded, as an 11 year old, to "plant it" outside in the freezing cold in the snow. Yup, I've been killing plants for nearly two decades now (so don't worry, it's part of learning). 

I remember the first time I harvested my first big bowl of salad from the garden. I was hooked. The greens themselves were so alive, so fresh, so full of flavor, that I wanted the luxury of having that freshness, and the deep sense of belonging, a sense of place, a feeling like I'm a living being within an ecosystem (vs feeling totally disconnected) that I crave. I love it. 

Yes, later I learned about all the environmental devastation, about how we have to pay (?!) for water even though it falls from the sky for free (I'm doing a big story on that later) and all that other stuff...

I do care very very deeply. I remember though, that first, you have to remember a lost love for nature. You have to start your love story for nature. That's where you can grow very deep, strong roots to be helpful to this ecosystem that you are a part of. Then you'll remember...that you are nature. 

So first things first: let's find out how much life we're missing, by not touching, smelling, hearing, feeling all the delights that nature has to bring. The care and love will come...I can vouch for that. 

That's what I'm working towards: to create experiences or help you create experiences for yourself with nature that bring you joy. 

So: can you remember a moment in nature, that completely delighted you? What would your life be like if you made more room for those moments? Would life be easier, sweeter? Share or reply in the comments 🙂 


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