Farewell Caledon


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.

(spring peeper, approx. twice actual size)

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.

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5 Responses to Farewell Caledon

  1. David says:

    It is a beautiful part of the world, isn’t it? When I was growing up, we had a ski cabin not far from there (Mansfield, up the Airport Rd. north of 89). In “the rolling hills of Mulmur”, as my father never tires of referring to them. Only about 75 minutes north of the city, but it felt like a million miles away. And that countryside is truly beautiful without being ostentatiously picturesque. It is real land. Some of the happiest days of my childhood were spent up there.

    So I can see that you will miss it. (Toronto, on the other hand… is it possible to move far enough away from that thing?) But of course you have moved to one of the loveliest places on the planet. And maybe you’ll find a way to grow to fit your house or find a house fit for you. Ave atque vale!

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  3. charlene says:

    Welcome home Dave. Yeay, You made it! Such a significant part of your journey as an evolved human being.

  4. Brutus says:

    Whereas Toronto and environs certainly isn’t especially hospitable for humans in their current numbers without considerable artifice, I’m a bit puzzled how you can suggest that we don’t belong there. After all, humans have lived in inhospitable climes, such as within the Arctic Circle, for millennia uninterrupted. Your preference for someplace more temperate is merely that: a preference. Prior to a few centuries ago, few humans had either the option or fortitude to relocate across a continent or body of water.

    With respect to humanity’s utter failure to live in anything resembling balance with the rest of the planet, which has gotten especially aggravated in the last two centuries, I agree completely. However, that is our nature, and for that matter, no other plant or animal possesses the self-restraint to strike a balance, either. We all struggle to survive and procreate, right up to the point that our momentary success seals our fate.

  5. Cam McConnell says:

    Caledon’s loss. I am glad Canada didn’t lose you. You will love the coast, and it will love you.

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