I remember as a young man my only challenge in life was to conquer the world. The limits of youth were beyond my sight and I knew the potential risks of knowing it all. My father who had his entire life now behind him at forty pretended to know it all, of course he did not. What is it he must have done to throw his life away in his twenties was beyond my understanding. Sometimes in the one sided conversations I endured I would not even notice him leave the room or worst be startled back to Earth with the sudden accusation of having my head in the clouds. Silly old man. It was in March seven years later my first child was born and I was twenty-five. I tell you right now he was the cutest baby in the whole world and our world is a big place. My wife and I would swing by my parents place with grand child number one on our weekly visit. My father would stare at my son with amazement turn to me with a big grin on his face and say…nothing. No words of wisdom, no thoughts on child rearing, grammar school or diaper cream, just a smile. I assumed there was nothing to say, he obviously understood I was perfectly prepared to be a dad. Just fourteen months later boy number two arrived. I never did travel the world but I do know it all just ask my sons. And if you are wondering if I have regrets now that I am closing in on fifty the answer is no. I may not have travelled the world but I am a father and I have five boys. If you want to see something amazing sit back and watch your kids play, I did and I am just a silly old man.
Consider this. How far away are you from the nearest river, stream, creek, or lake? How clean is the water? Ask yourself this question. Can I swim in this water or will it make me sick? Can I cook with it? Can I drink from the waters edge? It is likely the answer is no and quite often no to all three questions. Now find out how far away your local stream is at its starting point or where are the sources of water for the river that runs through our town, or the lake at the cottage? Is it nearby or miles away? Here is your chance to make a difference. Contact three people who might be willing to stand with you and contact the land owner or organization in trust with the water at the beginning of the journey and offer to help restore the edges of the stream by planting a few trees or shrubs within the first few metres of the waters edge. This buffer will help prevent waste from farms and factories from entering the stream. Now have your friends call three friends and get them involved. Move on to the other headwaters of your river and do the same. Encourage the first landowner to talk with his neighbours about keeping farm animals from moving through the buffer zone which in place helps control erosion, flooding and cleans the air we breath. Can you see where this is going? If you consider the number of people involved if we each get just three others to participate the resources will be staggering. Now move downstream and put the combined community effort into play. I would not want to be the first person polluting the creek or allowing runoff to flow unchecked into the nice clean water provided by my neighbour. If I get a response I will continue……..