The P.I.N.E. project slogan is "Be more, need less", and that is exactly what I aimed for.
I did away with noise-counselling headphones, opened up my ears, and started listening. I started to be able to isolate specific calls from a myriad of birds chirps. It was no longer just noise taking place outside my window. Instead of using my Nikon, P.I.N.E. helped me realize I had two of the most powerful zoom lenses built into my face. I started using them to uncover the intricate lines and colours of insects and plants.
The children and staff at this organization helped me realize that to call a bug “a bug” is to objectify an insect. To re-appropriate it. To strip away everything that makes that bug interesting and all the ways in which we can learn from it. To reduce millions of diverse species, representing more than half of all living organisms, into a single category with a single purpose: to annoy humans. I wondered - how are we creating distance from nature to justify destroying it?
Speaking of asking questions...
In a society where asking questions and not knowing the right answer can be judged as ignorant or stupid, I'm so grateful for P.I.N.E. for providing a safe space for kids & adults alike to learn openly and celebrate their strengths over weaknesses. This organization invites us to connect back to our human roots, where we're meant to sing, sneak, feel things, and be one with nature. Many of these things I learned from the kids I worked with. I started as a counsellor and shortly after realized I was being mentored by these incredible kids more than half my age.
On October 21st, along with many others, I will be doing a sit-spot for two hours. During this time I will have no technology, books, projects, or anything else, other than the area in the great outdoors where I decide to sit. I will be opening up my awareness, listening and looking for nature calling. My intention is to raise $250 for the "Best Day Ever Bursary Fund”, a P.I.N.E. Project initiative that helps cover the cost of their life-changing programs.
Please help support my initiative and help the P.I.N.E. project continue to enlighten people like myself. Help them look beyond the urban landscape and explore the magic of the natural one. Help them be more curious, ask more questions, find passion, and be more okay with the unknown. Help them find out what really matters and grow into resilient, independent, wholesome humans that have the power to change the world.