Thank you, Farley Mowat
I hadn't realized, until I sat down to write this post, the influence that Farley Mowat had on me.
Flashback to Grade 5, and I am reading People of the Deer. The descriptions of vast wilderness, terrifying but beautiful barren landscapes and human survival in the face of indifferent natural forces have me hooked! I am spellbound by the mysterious tundra landscape that lies somewhere due north of the Winnipeg suburb that I live in. On the coldest winter days, with blowing snow and howling winds, I pretend to be walking across Mowat’s tundra alone, this "land of little sticks," trying to reach some destination that I have to get to in order to survive (which is, of course, actually my elementary school).
Farley Mowat’s books helped cultivate within me a deep respect, passion and sense of responsibility towards Canada's wilderness. He greatly influenced my path in life and I knew then in Grade 5 that I wanted to spend my life trying to protect natural areas.
And even now, at 40 years old, on the coldest winter days I still strap on my snowshoes and head out to explore the "tundra" behind my southern Manitoba home.