The Spring Peepers are back, and in full voice. Thousands of tiny frogs newly thawed from their winter hibernation, singing their hearts out for mates to carry on the species, as they have been doing in ponds like this one in Caledon for 200 million years (far longer than we humans have been around). The result is a cacophony of whistling sounds, delightful and life-affirming, the definitive sign of spring in these parts.
It is the last sound I will hear as a leave Caledon, once and for all, for my new home in Bowen Island BC. The sale of our house closes tomorrow, and my separation agreement is finally signed, so there is nothing to keep me here any longer. I once thought Caledon would be my home for life, the place I had been looking for all my life, my true home.
But as beautiful as it is, it is not where I, or any human, is really meant to live. The winters are too cold and too harsh, and the wild creatures who have the natural hardware for this climate must think us rather ridiculous, creating an artificial environment here just so we can survive in this inhospitable place. There is a reason that this area was so thinly settled with humans for the first million years of our existence on Earth — we’re meant for warmer climates, better suited to our thin coats, our feeble teeth and claws meant for foraging for fruits and vegetables, which don’t grow here naturally, our slow running pace, inadequate to catch prey or avoid predators without mechanical aids.
Beautiful, seductive land, Caledon, soon to be paved over as Toronto continues its inexorable growth to cover the entire south end of the province. For now, vibrant with wild life, who continue to live here as they have for eons. Soon they will all be gone, plowed under as sacrifice to human cultural homogeneity and inability to coexist or live within our means.
I have moved, someone recently pointed out to me, from a house too big for me on a hill beside a forest northwest of a major Canadian city (Toronto) to a house too big for me on a hill beside a forest northwest of a major Canadian city (Vancouver). Maybe I’m incapable of learning. But it seems like a move in the right direction.
Farewell Caledon. I won’t miss your growing human hordes, but I will always remember your wild places and wild creatures, who taught me what it is to be part of all-life-on-Earth, and hence how to be human. Thank you for that, and may Gaia protect you as best she can. I will think of you.