In June, Helsinki had a “sleep outdoors” event – people were encouraged to sleep outdoors for that weekend. Y and I went on a canoeing trip to the Nuuksio National Park which was a really amazing experience to paddle on the quiet lake. In the middle of the trip, we carried our canoes onto the land and we had a little “coffee and cinnamon bun” break by the fireplace. We were not the only people at the fireplace. We met two other families – an older couple with a dog and a younger couple with 2 young children. They told us they were sleeping outdoors in tents for that weekend. The children were running around in the woods while the adults prepared some coffee and hot dogs. The whole scene just felt very unreal to me.
I look at the children and I wonder how it would be like to grow up attuned to nature. In Singapore, most of us are used to artificial environment and we only go close to nature either when we are forced to or when we are exploring our inner adventurer spirit. And that tends to happen in our late teens or early adulthood. Being away from modern comforts can be uncomfortable but that’s also the time when I feel most alive. I hope that my own children will grow up closer to nature than I did. I hope that I will be able to bring them out for hikes when they are at an early age.