Loving means taking responsibility

Walking through a local park I see couples, families, transients, and the elderly enjoying the public areas I’ve come to call home. I’m thinking of the questions that come my way as I’ve tried to promote the this concept of loving means taking responsibility. It’s true for us as humans loving each other, and for the love we feel for the places we go to connect with nature.

Whether those places are the wild public lands or the manicured and groomed local public parks we go with our loved ones – the only difference in them is the risk we are willing to take to get there.

A friend on Instagram writes and I respond:

“I have to say. Even tho I am over the border from you I admire your tenacity and commitment to keeping public lands in publics hands. We need more dedicated individuals like yourself over this way. I have to ask though. How do you manage a working life and have so much time to be involved in so many fishing related endeavours.”

“As well as conservation efforts.”

“I just wanna know how u do it lol.”

It’s easy!! No kids and no attachments other than my friends and family. I wake up each day feeling blessed that I can do my little part to encourage people to get involved. Some people think I need to do more, but I know that it’s not always about doing on the ground work that makes a difference. Each aspect of outreach, education, advocacy, and conservation work needs to happen for all of it to work.

Just like the land needs to be maintained, the water needs to be clean, the plants need to be healthy, and the food web needs diversity – each part contributes to the whole. I just do what I can when I can and as often as I can.

“There are a few local organizations here bound in that field I just can’t seem to get enough time to feed myself let alone conservation work. But you are doing good work – much appreciated work. If you don’t mind would it offend you if I asked how you support yourself ? Sorry for 21 questions”

I’ve got a job and work 12 hour shifts, so I have 3 days off one week and the next 4 days. I still struggle making ends meet, but it’s those times I can build up on stories, help out some groups, take photos, and put in some side work. I figure I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

“Amen brother. Much appreciated you taking the time to respond. Keep it up as what you’re doing is paving the way for guys like me to pitch in. Again thank you.”

So there you have it. It’s been so long since I’ve been in a relationship with another human, I can only speak from memory. But it seems as though I remember the effort it takes to love someone becomes something you do naturally and as frequently as you can. It’s that responsibility you take for your partners well being which comes from enjoying that time you spend together with each other. For me – this is the love I have for public lands, for angling, for hiking, for camping, for exploring. So my natural effort has become offering a glimpse of those places through my photos, videos, and writing.