KMbeing

Knowledge Mobilization (KMb): Multiple Contributions & Multi-Production Of New Knowledge

The Knowledge Of Nature

Experiencing the knowledge of nature and what nature can share with us is available to everyone – but most of us tend to forget this.  Pehaps it’s because many of us don’t take the time to learn from nature and make that knowledge our own – or for those of us who are city-dwellers – we have never been able to experience nature in all its natural settings.  The knowledge that nature can give each of us is calmness and inspiration that can  revive our energy and put our lives in perspective.  We  often take the knowledge of nature for granted and see it as something separate from us or something that needs constraining. But like constraining knowledge – it is bound for failure. It’s important to see nature as an integral and important part of our lives to learn from and value – just as there is always some value in the diversity of knowledge.  Constraining knowledge makes knowledge die as constraining nature leads to death.

When I was a teenager I used to be a boy scout and had the great privilege of regular weekend camping in a place that had a beautiful forest with a flowing creek and outlying farmlands only a few miles away from the city I lived in. I was taught the value and beauty of nature’s knowledge by a kind and gentle Scout Master named Simon DeWitt.  Scouter Simon can be considered one of nature’s knowledge brokers as the intermediary between nature’s lessons and children’s learning. Lord Baden Powell would have been very proud! When we would go hiking into the woods my life changed. Hiking in the woods became a profound place of listening to nature’s knowledge and appreciating the diversity of foliage and animal life that it held for each of us.  The towering trees I saw change through the seasons, the churning creek waters and the winding paths took me through beautiful moments of learning beyond the city I lived in. I experienced the variety of flowers and plants, frogs, deer, snakes, fish, birds – and even bears – and the cylce of life and death.

Those hiking experiences were great gifts to me because I learned from the knowledge of my Scout Master who was able to pass on to us boys the value and diversity of the world around us and the lessons that nature can teach us.  I was able to escape from the noise and pollution of cars and concrete to enjoy the peace and purpose of the knowledge of nature.

Scouter Simon is long gone, but whenever I reflect back to those days of my youth and understanding I gained from the knowledge of nature, I still feel the tranquility and value of slowing down and taking in the peace and power of nature. Whenever I feel stressed or rushed in my day-to-day, fast-paced urban life, I think of the value and knowledge of nature that I gained from those childhood moments – and I put my own life and the lives of others in perspective and appreciation because of the knowledge of nature.

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