I have a dream. It’s a wild one, but it just won’t leave me alone. I dream a community of healthy people. Not just healthy-heath-wise, but healthy-connected-wise. Connected … to our land, to our actions, to each other. I believe that the deeper the connection people have to their surroundings, the better they feel about themselves.
You see, I believe that when we become connected to our land, we begin to see it with new eyes…and ourselves with new eyes – we begin to believe in ourselves as caretakers. When that belief affects our behaviour, we’ve connected ourselves to our actions. We assume responsibility and accountability – which means we consider how our actions affect others. When we consider others, we forge a deeper connection with them.. the deeper connection we forge with others, the more our compassion grows. When our compassion grows, our heart grows with it and we develop a deeper sense of pride and belonging. We feel better about ourselves.
Footloose did that last year by bringing people together in outdoor fitness challenges designed to get them out of their homes and livingrooms into this beautiful countryside we call Albert County. It was designed to connect communities and open eyes to the strengths and the possibilities that come with good health and attitudes.
I’m excited because yesterday Rhonda and I attended a provincial health workshop where we had a chance to talk about Footloose and what it is doing for our community. We saw other communities and heard their stories of positive change as well. And we met an awesome group of teenagers who are passionate about changing their schoolmates’ views on health and fitness. They are bravely setting the new trendy behaviour in their school and around the province.
This is how it starts. A group of people united in a common cause; a common vision. Coming out of their shell, getting out and walking, caring about their health and home, sharing stories.
Last evening, as the sun started its decline, we took the Callie-dog out for a walk. And met a host of our neighbours…all out walking in ones and twos., enjoying the evening.
Everyone was happy to be outside – it’s warm, it’ spring...time for new life! The pond ice had begun to melt; birdsong echoed through the bare forest, the creek tumbled in a torrent of snowmelt. We found deer tracks in the mud at the side of the road. A flock of geese were honking in the field, a sure sign that soon, we'll be seeing the young goslings soon.
It was a perfect night for dreams.