“If all the lakes were chocolate cakes
And all the isles were great big cup cakes
Then how lucky I would be
For all the Lakes surround me!”
- Candis Wilds
People who poke around have burrs stuck to their shoelaces and rocks in their pockets. Their days are not divided into hours and minutes but by the passage of the sun across the sky – or the rude grumblings of a stomach reminding them of a meal missed while wandering. They appear – to those who walk with the purpose of exercise in mind – to ramble aimlessly. They spit into the water to make the fish rise. They randomly gather wildflowers to bestow on those they love. Often they stand still for a long time, listening, and then head off to follow some far away sound.
A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune, that as adults, most of us have lost this true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring. “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder,” Rachael Carson wrote, “he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” I was blessed to have the companionship of my Great-grandfather and later, after his death, the encouragement of my Great-grandmother to continue poking around on my own.
It is this indestructible sense of wonder, this unfailing love of woods and water inherited from my Great-grandparents – which managed to withstand Ms. Peterson’s early chastisements – that has often sustained me in adulthood.
And it is this same inborn sense of wonder I hope to help my grandchildren keep alive. A sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and unknown, exploring nature by becoming receptive to what lies all around them, inspired by long lazy meanderings through the woods and along the waterways of Drummond Island.
“All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.”
- J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973), The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954