Have you ever considered what our early pioneer settlers encountered when they came to this area to live? A lot of space, few people and a lot of wildlife, as well as other challenges, made life a bit difficult until all of it became familiar. That’s sort of how I feel in our new community. Generally, stores close much earlier so, if I run out of milk at 9:30, there’s no quick run to Shopper’s Drug Mart to pick more up. Yet, I do enjoy the quiet. We are not too close to people, so there are no distractions and, at the same time, SaskTel is just a phone call away when my internet goes down. Even if the solution is plugging the power cord back into the wall when it was inadvertently unplugged, leaving me without internet for two days! Which also translated to no television, youtube or online learning for my homeschooled children. They were sure upset when I had other tasks they could do! Despite the differences that I’m learning to become accustomed to, there are a lot of similarities. The ones I enjoy the most are the wildlife, of course. It’s lovely to see all of the birds that come by our home and we always see some creature along the way between Prince Albert and La Ronge. I hadn’t thought we’d see so much animal activity after the wildfires so it’s encouraging to notice that even in a small space of time a habitat and ecosystem can begin to quickly recover.
Lately my boys have been hopping around the house repeating, “Ribbit!, Ribbit!” and leaping off of chairs, onto the floor. Watching them in their play, and learning of a friend’s son’s successful moose hunt, I can see where my boy’s playing will really benefit them as they become hunters and gatherers in the future. They’re already learning as I show them which fruits and vegetables are ready to be harvested, and which plant should remain in the ground while the others should be pulled as they are competition and weeds. However, even weed have benefits. Dandelions make great tea, wine and can even be used in salad as an example.
The thing is, as humans, we determine what is left behind. Our choices impact so much more than just our own lives and that of our family. This year bears have been making an impact in a lot of the Lakeland communities so people have had to practice even more exceptional caution while out and about, observing the surrounding where their children are playing and ensuring all refuse is covered and put away, protected from hungry animals. Yet, when we respect their space, it’s lovely to watch the animals in their natural habitat. Observing them is on a completely different level than going to a zoo and seeing the same animals interacting there. So when I see the animals gathering, grazing, hunting and generally preparing for the lean times ahead, I get out of the way. We are all busy harvesting what we can. For this reason, a I harvest, I leave a little bit in my garden for those who don’t have the luxury of growing their own food. The animals. The pay off is two fold for me: I like the thought of being able to contribute to their diet so that they’re healthy, or as healthy as they can be in the circle of life where those who hunt are also hunted. But the plants also decompose and enrich the soil for my next garden in the new growing season. All I have to do is mix the soil and I’m good to go. And I can’t wait!
As we proceed into fall, take a look at all of the nature you share your space with, and allow it to room to grow. Even weeds have a place where they contribute.
Take care and have a great week, everyone.