A tale of inspiration...

The Development Director of the P.I.N.E. Project shares his story
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I sat quietly in the warm sun, cupping my ears to listen more closely to the tap-tap-tap of a downy woodpecker echoing through the forest around me. A tug on my arm brought my attention to Sam, the 7-year old boy sitting intently next to me. ‘What is it?’ he asked excitedly, his wide eyes filled with wonder as we shared in the awe of connecting more deeply to the natural world.

Spiral back a couple years. I’m walking slowly out of a mixed hardwood and pine forest, trailing a group of teen boys who I’d spent the last five days in the woods with, a rite of passage experience for these young men. We were approaching a large crowd of adults and elders, their song of celebration and acknowledgment coming clear and strong across the open field. Welcome back they were saying, we honour your journey and the challenges you have faced.

These two scenes stand out in my mind; two pearls in a series of ah-ha moments that are etched in my memory as catalysts that have inspired in me an unshakable vision and commitment to a culture rooted in inner and outer sustainability. These scenes make my heart smile and let me know what is actually possible.