Daniela Ginta writes for KAM News on Fridays.
COLUMN — It was a hot day so it only took an hour or so for laundry to dry outside on the deck. Aside from being fascinated with the very process of having the sun kiss the laundry dry, I guess I am forever positively conditioned by the fresh smell of air-dried laundry which brings back happy childhood memories… bouquets of sweet smells, no matter the season, no matter if the air is cold or warm, smells of winds and rain and sun bringing the outside in and making it an open end invitation.
‘Outside’ is a mix of stimuli that appeals to all senses, so to say that we are meant to live in perfect symbiosis is an understatement. So we should, by honouring the invitation and making our way through the endless maze of nature’s wonders.
Take the sun, for example. Earlier in the day I got to see its power in a different way. Midday sun no less, potent in its ability to forewarn of hot summer days, but put at good use via a sun oven and solar barbeque by Dr. Michael Mehta, Professor of Environmental Studies at Thompson Rivers University, who hosted an early Earth Day event. Yes, sun cooking made its valid point and more. It’s there, it’s strong enough to help cook entire meals and dry laundry, it’s free and renewable, so why not?
A hot debate these days if there ever was one, and the temperatures (March of this year was the hottest on record) only add to the fieriness.
California’s drought has been on the news lately. It’s getting worse and while that is hard to imagine while there’s still water running when we turn on the tap, the reality is that water, just like other natural resources, is not present in infinite amounts.
What makes California’s issue ours is that no one part of this world is isolated from the others, no human is spared the consequence of everybody’s actions. And actions are many, as there are many humans.
Standing in the hot sun next to the sun oven a couple of days ago made me think of standing in front of a hot oven, door open and heat radiating. It is astonishing indeed, how much energy, in various forms, lies at our doorstep, every day. The sun and its brilliant presence is but one.
There’s a lot of sun power to use, and the summer to come will be even hotter, so all that heat – as much as we fear its ugly side leading to droughts and forest fires – should be put to use and thus reduce the energy dilemma and, hopefully, find solutions for the climate change woes we are facing.
My eldest started studying science recently. He is homeschooled. No definitions or facts yet, as they can be dry and uninviting. Instead we are opting for the story behind formulas and definitions.
Everything started with observations, followed by countless trials and errors, followed by the ‘a-ha!’ moment. It still does. It starts with that first endeavor that makes us wonder and ask. Rain makes you wet, rain is found on the ground and on leaves, rain comes from clouds. But why and how?
We turn to books for answers. From then on, the path opens. We seek answers, but delight in seeking as much as we do in finding answers. Which is why when we’re kids we ask to be read to and we ask why. Which is why we have the moral obligation to read to our children. So they, too, can delight in seeking and finding answers.
To what rain is, to where the wind is coming from, to why carbon dioxide is good in small amounts and bad in large amounts, to how matter is conserved and one type of matter becomes another, but also to what makes us human, to what dehumanizes us, to what adds wonder to our lives and why we need to ask why.
Everything in nature comes with a why, including people’s motivation to do certain things. Learning makes us curious in finding ways to support our symbiosis rather than perform activities that destroy it in any way.
Connected as we are to the world that provides our next breath, cup of water and next meal, we cannot make it (far) on our own.
Succumbing to knowledge and learning can never be overdone, as there is so much to learn. The more we learn, the better we understand and that allows us to look around and make use of all there is and it will not impact our survival, or the future generations’. That is why curtailing children’s access to knowledge by allowing them to become prisoners of electronic devices is an unforgivable form of modern betrayal.
The last days have been the scene of political debates about the budget for this year; there’s the continuous battle to stop industry giants from extracting more fossil fuels or building dams that can impend the livelihood of entire communities and beyond, there have been outcries about social indignities towards those least fortunate in our society, as well as outcries about the killing of wild animals that are guilty of being wild.
Every time something outrageous happens in our country there is evidence of not enough information, hidden information, false information, or simply no explanation for the lack of any, if such is the case.
That only emphasizes the truth we are aware of already: knowledge is power. The right kind, that is. All we have to do – and for now we do not have to fight to have access to it, not for the most part anyway – is to seek it and pursue until the why and how are answered, because when that happens, we are all better for it.
We will understand why we should use what’s given to us, why our deeds today can be the pride or the curse of tomorrow, and how so much nature is available to us to use again and again, so we do not have to grab and violate any of it but allow for that perfect symbiosis to exist in all its magic. Sunshine included.