We recently had an observation session on the green trail by the Exeter river. I was sitting on this soft patch of earth, leaning up against a hemlock tree. It had rained the entire day before and everything smelled damp and fresh. I quite like it when it rains, the sounds, the smells, the feel of it. But whenever I go up to someone on a day like that and say, “hey, I’m really enjoying this rain today,” the most common response is just this withering, mystified look where they just seem to be saying, “You’re joking, right? What the hell are you talking about?”
This is a look that I seem to be getting a lot of these days, mainly from people my age. I’ll be talking about something, maybe something I do, something I enjoy, some philosophy or opinion that I have, and I’ll see that look on the faces of the millennials around me. Not to say that there aren’t exceptions to this, but it’s a strange thing, feeling as though you’re part of a generation that you don’t understand, and that doesn’t really understand you. Now, I can be a very stubborn and pigheaded person; for me, it’s usually my way or the stupid way, my opinion or the wrong one, so perhaps you can imagine that being part of an entire generation of people that usually disagrees with me can be irksome at best. Usually, I just try to stay away from the people I would argue with too much and stick to the outliers. But perhaps it would be beneficial to me to go beyond the occasional comments from my parents that I was born into the wrong generation and actually explore my differences. And a big part of those differences is the land and my connection to it. So perhaps this class can help me talk about and resolve some of these differences and shorten the distance. Or if that’s not possible, then at least maybe I’ll come away better prepared to argue with everyone.