I wanted to offer something in this week’s editorial for the 2018 graduates. I thought and I thought and couldn’t come up with an inkling of wisdom that I could offer the students as they begin their new journeys.
Until that is, I was writing the article about videographer, Bill Blood who combines his love of videography and science education by travelling to Hawaii to capture and teach about geological formations. While writing it, I was inspired to research what the Hawaiian culture might perceive about the current erupting Kilauea volcano and the lessons some people in Hawaii might take from it. Perhaps in understanding how they learn from nature, I could reach my goal of offering something to the graduates.
In my research, I found a travel blog writer, Avia Venefica, who stated that volcanoes offer a fewlessons that most Hawaiians take seriously. “Volcanoes represent the upward challenge our lives sometimes present and they remind us of the goals we aspire to reach, the journey to get there, and the value of the climb to the top.”
In Maine, we typically align ourselves with monotheistic views, but we often also learn the values and lesson that nature provides us. Many people experience a transcendent connection in Maine’s natural environment, learning something personally and profoundly while participating in a favorite activity, be it hiking, kayaking or snowshoeing.
The following are a few life lessons that the natural beauty of Maine can potentially offer, not only for the 2018 graduates, but for all of us:
In addition to the “upward challenge” analogy Venefica offers, a hike up a Maine mountain can reflect the reality of peaks and valleys. Life is exciting and frustrating. There are always going to be good days and bad days, but it helps to know that everything is temporary. So, during the valley moments – just keep chugging away as the peak moments will be arriving soon. Of course, the opposite is also true. This keeps us humble.
Sitting in a kayak, one can’t help but notice how adaptable the water is – how easily the water divides and wraps itself around the kayak as it moves forward. Water can easily skirt around any object and keep moving onward. It can teach us to persist without struggle.
Personally, I think snow can teach us a major life lesson about individuality. Whether you have snowshoed or cross country skied through a deep and fresh layer of snow, you will notice there is not a trail in front of you. You must create your own way, your own path. In life, it can be scary to blaze new horizons. But much like snowshoeing, you can look back from where you once stood and see how far you’ve come.
It is my hope that all graduates will one day look back and see how far they have travelled since 2018 – learning their own bits of wisdom along the way.