I was looking though a pile of old Watersheds when I came across a story in our first spring issue. In it, my dad, my nephew Graham and I spend a warm spring day in our rubber boots trying to dismantle a beaver dam. By the time we get home we are mud splattered, tired and happy. Happy because we’d spent the day working away in the sunshine with nothing else on our minds but our common purpose. On top of that, we had stories to share around the dinner table that night.
Fast forward twenty years: a new bunch of rubber boots is running around the farm. They belong to a set of grandchildren who range in age from four to nine. In the spring, one of their favourite haunts is the stream that leads from our south pond and runs under the road to our north pond by the house. They spend the day there with their shovels, damming and redirecting the stream’s flow, and building reservoirs for their boats. They ferry plastic tubs filled with sticks through the culvert and they lose their minds laughing when the dog heads into the abyss after them. And as the plastic tubs float out towards the open water, they yell instructions to me at the top of their lungs: “Get it Nannie: hurry, get it!”
We come back to the house with rosy cheeks, cold hands and wet feet. In the span of a day, we’ve been a team of adventurers, amateur engineers, collaborators and construction workers and we’ve done some remedial work for the local conservation authority. Best of all, we’ve shared a common purpose on a spring day and we have stories to tell at the dinner table. Does it get any better?