I don’t think there is a reader, within the hinterlands of the Wellington Advertiser’s widespread free distribution, that is not aware of  my deep concern for our environment. It is an obsession, fault, fetish, affliction, addiction, call it what you may; I feel quite sure it was deep set in my bones along about the time that Mother Nature, in her magnificent, stress releasing way, transferred the gleam in my father’s eye to within the warm womb of my red headed mother.


My father often silently cursed the fact that he, too, was a member of the hairless primate, collectively known as man. Especially when he saw anyone, and seemingly everyone, needlessly abusing, as we have for a  long, long, chain of generations, the environment; which is part and parcel of the wonderful, fast deteriorating, world in which we live.

Because we were gifted with the opposing thumb, which gave us the use of tools, and with that the dominating power over almost everything except Nature herself, we think we have the right to damn well do as we please. We were also gifted with a brain capacity far greater than all other creatures, but the fact lies openly apparent that we have not yet learned to use it in a sensible sustainable manner, with a foresight far enough extended to include any future generations.

We are living high on the hog by deficit spending, exploiting limited resources, which causes skyrocketing inflation, which in turn, no matter how you look at it, is nothing more than crippling debt pushed onto our grandkids.

I think it is time that we individuals, and governing powers, on all levels, wake to reality and stop our idiotic inflationary line of thinking. If not done, there will be little doubt that we, in this so-called prosperous land called Canada, will be following the starvation route down which many of our third world countries have already trickled; defying death and disaster no longer possible.

Mother Nature, with a power unharnessed by man, is capable of fighting back. This we have learned from, disease, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and drought.

Is it right that babies of future generations, our great grandchildren’s children, and their children’s children, be trundled down a starvation trail, because greed of today devastatingly raped the environment? Their parents will no longer be able to handle the cost of correcting irreversible mistakes that we seem not to heed  in our present mode of expansion. Wake up people. Wake Up! The water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breath are important. If conservation is to be a success it must start in our very own back yards. Done so by example, politicians will, no doubt in  panic,  scramble to get on the bandwagon in order to avoid thrown bricks at political gatherings.

Seeing as I’ve motor-mouthed often and “talked the talk,” let me show how I, in my own sweet loving way, have made an effort to “walk the walk.” I have willfully parted with loonies beyond the hundred, and have purchased an apparatus, which in operation, is a cost free, environment friendly, exercise program. For lack of a better name I have christened this particular peculiar mechanical utility Dawg.

I walk my Dawg back and forth across my front boulevard. I walk Dawg up and down my side yard, and when done there I walk Dawg criss-cross back and forth over my back lawn. When done walking my Dawg, I’ve had ample exercise, and  my lawn is trim and neat. But Dawg does have one fault; being, as it is, an 18-inch push type reel lawn-mower – the only place you can buy suitable warm weather fuel is at the beer store. But that too, is now cheaper than gas (do the math). And, too, it can be recycled. Simply pass it through your kidneys, turn your back, hope no-one is looking, and water your lawn.

By the way, let me remind you, hang up a note, with the thumbtack replaced by a recycled railway spike. Mark on that note July 12 and 13, 10am to 5pm. It’s the sixth annual Elora Centre for the Arts yard show and sale. Over 50 artists’ original work. Only $2 admission – kids free. It’s a fun family outing with entertainment and refreshments. Once again I’ll be there signing my latest, Book One and Book Two of The Best of Bits and Pieces. Each contains 200 recycled verbal pictures of small town happenings. They make lasting gifts. Come on folks, get off of your butts, pop down and see me.

Take care, ’cause we care




Barrie Hopkins