April 11, 2015

I would like to use this journal entry to reflect on our last Educative Experience held by Professor Bingham. It was a silent walk on one of the trails on SFU mountain.  We all walked together at first and then people started to seperate as we got deeper into the forest.  After a short while, the professor gathered us together where everyone read an excerpt of a poem, by I believe to be Foucault.  He then gave us time to “meander” and think about anything but civilization.

Initially the walk felt strange because we were huddled together as a group and I felt like it was very unnatural not to talk to the people around me.  I also thought other people thought it was strange that we weren’t talking, whereas I would normally say hi to someone on the road, but if felt odd to hold back. However, once we got on the trail, I found it so exhilirating.  The air was fresher, it was quieter as we went deeper, and I felt like my senses were awakened.  I could feel my breathing was deeper and I could feel my heart beating.  It brought back memories of when I used to live on a boat and every morning I woke up to serenity.  That was back in the day when I used to paddle and hike almost every day.  I remember escaping to the ocean or the mountains and as soon as it was time to get back to the city, I would feel so much anxiety.  These days what I do to escape is go to the gym or a run along the seawall but, like the Professor, I have my earphones on with music blaring as loud as possible.  He brought up a good point about why he doesn’t incorporate walking in the forest daily and I kept thinking about the same thing.  It brings so much peace and I always feel good about it afterwards.  But in all honesty, I do sometimes feel like walking can be a waste of time when I could be running and burning more calories and getting my cardio in for the day.  And when I do run, I don’t enjoy it for the scenery, I enjoy it for the high and for the speed.  I guess it’s just part of living in the city as well. There is a hectic pace here in the city and it always seems like there are never enough hours in a day to get everything done.

My husband and I always talk about moving somewhere that has a slower pace, some small town in Mexico, or even one of the Gulf Islands.  I think we glorify the lifestyle since when we are there, we are there on vacation.  However, we know several people who live ‘off grid’ and they just seem so much more at peace than people who live in the city.  There is more appreciation and more interaction with their environment it seems.  We have friends who have raised their kids in Courtenay, right on the water.  Their kids are so knowledgeable about their fertile land and they are very active in the outdoors (kayaking, outriggering, stand up paddle board, mountain biking, road biking, hiking, snow shoeing, skiing, etc…) You name it and they do it – their playground is literally their backyard.  I start thinking that maybe because we live in the city, we are hindering our kids these opportunities to enjoy the outdoors more.  It just takes so much more effort to get out there.  We go skiing once a year to Sun Peaks because we cannot stand the chaos of our local mountains.  We bring out the boats maybe twice per summer because it takes a whole lot of effort to throw them on the car and drive towards the water…. It just seems so difficult.  However, when I do imagine a more rural lifestyle, I think I would miss the city.  I love that I can walk anywhere to all the ammenities and have access to ‘stuff’….. but maybe it’s stuff that I can live without?  On the other hand, my husband is also an Urban Planner, so he lives and breathes cities…….

Anyways, I think what the last experience taught me, or made me think about was how I need to incorporate more nature into my life, because it just makes me feel so much better 🙂

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