Proust Nature Questionnaire – My mother

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Families are complicated. After 15 years of tumultuous and often absent communication, my mother and I have mended our differences and picked up where we left off, back to a time when our relationship was what one of a mother-son should be. A lot of who I am today is because of her, even my love of nature.  As a young boy, she always made sure that we spent as much time exploring the shores of the St-Lawrence river or roaming the local woods. I am really grateful for the values and skills she taught me. Thank you mother.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beauty, Respect and Strength

3 things Nature taught you?

That beauty doesn’t cost a thing. That it is the best place for your mind to wander and meditate. That we need to respect it because, simply, we are part of it.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Close to water so that I can hear the sound of waves or the sound of a running creek. Leaning against a tree so that I can feel its energy. Walking under the rain, even better when it is warm.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

In peace, meditative, and small.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

If alone, I am a bit worried. If I am with others, I feel in harmony, I feel the energy.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

In awe… from far away. But also insecure.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Happy, calm, mesmerized by the perfect beauty. I am fascinated by how it changes, how it evolves – the colors, shades and forms.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

I simply love hearing thunder! It is so delightful! It is exciting! I want to run outside and watch the storm… from sitting on a chair on a veranda though!

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

I love falling asleep to the sound of the wind whistling. That said, I wouldn’t want to be in a hurricane or tornado – terrifying!

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Water!! Whether the ocean, a river, or a creek.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10. But at the same time, I am not dependant on it to be happy.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

One memory I have is at my grand parents’ chalet, there was a vast field nearby where we gathered wild berries. Another one is by the St-Lawrence River where I spent countless hours playing in tide pools looking for little fish and shells. I also remember loving relaxing in a hammock, looking up to the sky and the top of trees, just letting my imagination run free.

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6 thoughts on “Proust Nature Questionnaire – My mother

  1. Those memories are so precious… Remember all of us at Grandpa’s cottage with our sleeping bags in long chair around the fire looking for shooting stars! Or crawling on the pedalo to go swim! Thanks for these great memories Dan, love the picture of you and your mom… Times fly!

  2. Bravo Daniel. Je te copie un texte que ta grand-mère Marie-Paule m’aura envoyé un peu avant de mourir et qui me sert de guide depuis plusieurs années:
    Desiderata
    Va paisiblement ton chemin à travers le bruit et la hâte
    Et souviens-toi que le silence est paix.
    Autant que faire se peut et sans courber la tête,
    Sois ami avec tes semblables.
    Exprime ta vérité calmement et clairement
    Et écoute les autres, même les plus ennuyeux ou les plus ignorants;
    Eux aussi ont quelque chose à dire.
    Fuis l’homme à la voix haute et autoritaire ; il pêche contre l’esprit.
    Ne te compare pas aux autres par crainte de devenir vain ou amer,
    Car toujours tu trouveras meilleur ou pire que toi.
    Jouis de tes succès mais aussi de tes plans.
    Aime ton travail, aussi humble soit-il,
    Car c’est un bien réel dans un monde incertain.
    Sois sage en affaires car le monde est trompeur.
    Mais n’ignore pas non plus que vertu il y a,
    Que beaucoup d’hommes poursuivent un idéal
    Et que l’héroïsme n’est pas chose si rare.
    Sois toi-même. Surtout ne feins pas l’amitié.
    N’aborde pas non plus l’amour avec cynisme
    Car malgré les vicissitudes et les désenchantements,
    Il est aussi vivace que l’herbe que tu foules.
    Inclines-toi devant l’inévitable passage des ans,
    Laissant sans regret la jeunesse et ses plaisirs.
    Sache que pour être fort tu dois te préparer
    Mais ne succombe pas aux craintes chimériques
    Qu’engendrent souvent fatigue et solitude.
    En deçà d’une sage discipline, sois bon avec toi-même.
    Tu es bien fils de l’univers,
    Tout comme les arbres et les étoiles, tu y as ta place.
    Quoique tu en penses, il est clair
    Que l’univers continue sa marche comme il se doit.
    Sois donc en paix avec dieu
    Quel qu’il puisse être pour toi;
    Et quelque soit ta tâche et tes aspirations,
    Dans le bruit et la confusion, garde ton âme en paix.
    Malgré les vilenies, les labeurs, les rêves déçus,
    La vie a encore sa beauté.
    Sois prudent.
    Essaies d’être heureux.
    Claude

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