We, oh so much wiser, siblings knew that was ridiculous because there was, of course, no definitive beginning or ending to “Up North”. But in our limited wisdom we didn’t realize that to many Americans we Wisconsinites were already “up north” when we awoke that morning on the farm in Walworth County.
July and August are choice months to head north or elsewhere to vacation. Often we seek destinations that will take us “back to nature” to enjoy the quiet, the wildlife, the fresh air, and the beauty of the great outdoors. When leaving your doorstep, at what point do you feel you’ve arrived “back to nature”? Is it when you’ve left the city or when the landscape has changed? Have you arrived once the tent is pitched, and you’re huddled around the campfire? Or has nature eluded you until you’ve reached that scenic overlook with no sign of human intervention? For many of us, once we’re back to nature, we have a heighten sense of appreciation for the beauty and the bounty of the earth. We’d be offended by anyone despoiling Mother Nature.
But perhaps the concept of trying to get back to nature is like trying to arrive “up north”. In reality there is no nature to get back to because it isn’t out there somewhere. It’s already here in our backyards, in our homes and in the mirror. Humankind is a natural phenomenon interacting daily with the web of life on earth. By compartmentalizing nature as “out there somewhere” to be enjoyed only on the weekend or while vacationing we risk losing our sense of stewardship as responsible members of that web of life.
So happy vacationing! But please tread gently every day because there is no Planet B. We’re here forever…Earthbound.