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Connected by natural rhythms

Notes from the North Woods

Although the local lakes and ponds have shed winter’s cover of ice, there are still pockets of ice and snow in the upper elevations, especially along shaded sections of mountain streams.

Although the local lakes and ponds have shed winter’s cover of ice, there are still pockets of ice and snow in the upper elevations, especially along shaded sections of mountain streams. Photo by Joe Hackett.

However, it is breaking news among many among the so called civilized societies. For too many years, humans have taken nature for granted, and have failed to appreciate the value of our natural relationship with the world surrounding our communities.

We often fail to realize that we are still directly dependent upon the natural environment, as has been graphically illustrated by the numerous catastrophic weather events, including those that have devastated the North Country in recent years.

We cannot learn to value humanity without attaching a value to nature, for we are inextricably linked. We learn to appreciate nature only if we understand the value of our relationship with it.

And therein lies the collective problem, which has become so evident in recent years. As a society, we have come to believe that we are no longer directly dependent on the natural world.

In many cases, we have allowed ourselves to become so consumed by the virtual world, that we are no longer connected to the wild side of the earth.

Although our current generation is surely the most connected in the history of mankind, they are also the most disconnected generation in terms of realizing the benefits of the natural world.

Richard Louv, author of the bestseller, Last Child in the Woods, as well as The Nature Principal, has offered up seven basic concepts to help individuals reshape their lives by tapping into the restorative powers of nature.

In the process of restoring natural connections people can increase mental acuity and creativity, promote health and wellness, build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities and economies, and ultimately strengthen human bonds.

I’ve witnessed this process happening in many Adirondack communities, where many are fortunate to still have a feel the natural rhythms of life.

However, it is important that a similar commitment is made to ensure that future generations also understand and learn to value rhythms of a similar tune. Otherwise, there goes the neighborhood. It is afterall, a key component of our heredity.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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