So I’ve been sharing some deep and raw moments on here, lately. (And don’t worry, the next chapter in ‘Keeping it Light‘ is still coming on Wednesday!)
But something unexpected happened on Saturday that was a pleasant moment, and I thought I’d share it with you all as well. Show the other side of the balance.
It’s been a while since there’s been serious, creative content on this is youth.
To put it simply, I find it difficult to write when I’m happy.
The last nine months of my life have been a happy story.
Unfortunately, I’m now in a position to tell it.
So where were we last? That’s right: Budapest, Hungary. 4 a.m., a foggy New Year’s Day, on the banks of the Danube….
With so much to be ashamed of in the news lately, I think it’s important to remember: we have lots of be proud of here, too.
The USA’s nature is second to none; it is well-taken care of, respected, preserved, and enjoyed.
It’s important to recognize the pitfalls of history, and accept that this land doesn’t belong to us. (Especially important with the recent happenings on our southern border). Nonetheless, I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have communed with this land, learned from it, and grown up in it.
An old man contemplates progress (right) while a young man in a suit hurries back to work (left). With Credit Suisse and BArclays offices stacked on top of luxury malls and shiny storefronts, Canary Wharf is a place for movers and shakers. Everyone wears a suit, and everyone is in a hurry.
This is the apex of capitalism.
I wonder what the old man is thinking.
And if the kid on the left could ever understand.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in Europe recently; from big cities to the mountain ranges to tiny little villages in the middle of nowhere.
As an American, one of the most striking things I noticed in Europe was the importance of water. Rivers are the lifeblood of this continent. The major cities were built around them, which makes sense, as back in the day waterways were by far the quickest and most efficient method of moving people and goods around.
The European conquest of nature extends far beyond building cities though; almost every single major river on the continent has been dammed for hydroelectric power.
As an American, and one from the West, this fusion of civilization and nature always struck me in an odd way. In the U.S., we usually separate these things. Our nation was built on the back of railroad and automobile infrastructure, which means besides the Mississippi and a few other routes, rivers have largely been left alone. We prefer coal and oil over hydropower (not necessarily a good thing). We also enjoy a deep bond with our public lands.
In the US, our wilderness is untamed and unaltered as much as we can make it so.
For me, this respect for the land and the ecosystems is just as American as the right to own guns, or eat cheeseburgers, or whatever else foreigners associate with our nation. The first time I saw trees painted to mark trails in Hungary, I was horrified. The golden words in the American wilderness are Leave No Trace.
So when I read this article on Adventure Journal about the planned damming of Europe’s last, pristine rivers in the Balkan Peninsula, my initial reaction was pretty negative.