Spring is known—and fervently welcomed—to be a time of change in Canada. This year, the changes we’re met with are nothing we could have expected.
Instead of gathering in our parks and neighbourhoods to greet nature as it wakes, we’ve been keeping ourselves shut away. During a season that beckons us outdoors, we’ve been banished inside.
But at a time like this, there’s strength and inspiration to be gained from the natural world. When you look outside, you realize that spring has indeed ushered in a host of familiar changes for which we’ve all been longing. None is more prized than the return of our beloved birds. And now, more than ever, they’re sending us a powerful message.
Ducks are swimming in newly thawed rivers and streams. Robins are darting amid the budding trees. Geese are signalling their arrival in the skies overhead. Our favourite species are a symbol, a beacon, of how we will navigate the weeks and months ahead. Because they, too, endured an arduous journey to get where they are now. They made it because they travelled together. We will do the same.
An incredible bond is forming across the country, fused by citizens of all ages who are finding new ways to bring their communities together during a time that demands we be apart. This week, I’m especially reminded of the kindness and generosity of Canada’s volunteers—including more than 5,200 who share their time and talents with Ducks Unlimited Canada. It’s uplifting to see you checking in, from a distance, with family and friends. It’s heartening to hear stories about your creative messages of support for health care and other essential workers. And, for me personally, it’s humbling to receive your emails and phone calls that show your concern for how charities like ours are coping.
All are inspiring proof that while we’re not physically together, our flock is strong.
As Canadians, and as conservationists, we will lean into the headwinds we face with the collective strength of a community that believes in banding together not only when times are good but when they are grim. We will weather the storm as one. We will adjust our course when needed. With hope and help from nature, we will make it—together.