I never thought I would love nature, or do outdoor activities, but I do now. There's something completely authentic and sublime about nature, especially in Canada. No architecture, or piece of human artwork, seems to compare. I grew up and traveled around cities, but even Hong Kong and Shanghai seem tiny and meaningless in Banff, or Jasper.
The trees soar to new heights, in the mountains.
The waters are a clear light blue, in the mountains.
The clouds seem to hover around like fresh white pillows, in the mountains.
I am so jaded by architectural practice - if you can't already tell. The whole business seems so small, at least the way it is run now, compared to all these other industries and spaces and visions out there. As much as I care about the placement of windows, and a well laid out residential unit, at the end of the day it still just feels like a side hobby. The people with real jobs are the developers, the mayors, the artists who fill the spaces with meaning and objects.
After my trip to the outdoors, I wonder if I have been trapped thinking that there is only "one" mode of living - the 20th century city, with its endless urbanization, its grids, and its infinite speculation. I, like so many others before me, wonder if there's a more natural way of living. If cities can behave more like cabins and tents, and be more closely connected to nature, while not completely forgoing urban conveniences.
As more and more aspects of human life take place online, I wonder if there is a larger retreat to the outdoors, to reconnect with our more primitive selves. Maybe then we can value our bodies again, the same way we value our minds - to walk the earth, to touch leaves, to breathe in fresh mountain air. To value being an intelligent human (animal), and not just a consumption mind machine.
I learned that I love kayaking, and just being on the water. Paddling in rivers and lakes make me feel like I am the captain of my life, able to change course however I please, and navigate through both the rough and calm portions of life. Even if I go overboard, I can always swim to shore.