Why Where the Fruit is?
I love those moments when your child does something you are proud of and you feel compelled to tell others. Often I refrain but not today. Where the Fruit is is a call to adventure. It is a gentle prod to do something with an uncertain outcome. It is here to tell you that adventure does so much more than give you a quick adrenaline fix. Adventure is a shortcut to real growth and sets you up for success in other arenas of your life. Like Jean Piaget I took what I had learned with other people’s children (I had been an adventure educator for over 15 years at the time) and then used my own child as a science project. I knew how climbing had positively influenced me as a young man and I wanted to play with concepts of adventure and how they would help my child’s development. So here is a little anecdote to support my findings.
It was ski season and I was laid up in bed with a broken leg; I cannot claim to have been particularly happy. A twelve year old Cai rubbed salt in the wound by being invited to ski in the backcountry with the dog and some family friends. One of the friends was a principal at a local elementary school. Having skinned up they opted to do a run which our friends had not done before. They asked Cai if he had and when he responded in the affirmative they asked if he wanted to lead. Apparently he suggested that he would ski to a spot that was both in sight and safe and that they would join him one by one. When they all gathered he simply said, “I see we are all here, we have all our gear and smiles on our faces. Lets do the same thing to that point over there.” They proceeded to use this strategy down the run. Kevin (the principal) later described the experience and said it was like skiing with a guide. When I think of moments like this I swell with pride because Cai is becoming the kind of person I want to see more of in the world. Someone who is willing to lead and look after others. Someone who considers other people’s experience, safety and happiness. Someone who strategizes for an optimal outcome. Someone who assimilates their previous experiences and uses them to inform new ones. If you then throw in the fact that he loves being in nature and wants to play a part in its preservation, I become teary eyed. I also recognize that if he can do this with adults in the backcountry he already has tools he can use with his peers in other environments. It is people like this that I look to for solace when I observe what is happening currently in the political arena.
So Why Where the Fruit is? Because I want to see a cultural shift. One where compassion and environmental consciousness rise up and those on the forefront are equipped to mobilize the groundswell of people who do not necessarily understand why they feel a need for change or how to bring it about. So go outside and have fun and along the way equip yourself and your children with the tools to lead this charge.