I just had the most amazing experience from the simple task of making maple syrup from the trees around our property with our kids. It was an incredible feeling to make our own syrup even though it took 2 days, 5 trees, 10 hours of boiling, a million questions from my kids, and about $20.00 worth of propane to literally boil down to less than a litre. So how could this bring me so much joy!
Maple syrup making reminds me of our work at Watersheds Canada in so many ways; the best part of a project is the process of planning and working with people to make something happen. It can take us more than a year to complete a document that will be created from endless hours of research, multiple partners, hours of meetings, and thousands of words on a page.
In developing this document, I was once told by one of our partner lake associations that we were working with that “It doesn’t matter what we write in this report, what matters is what happened as a result of the process”. The process is what makes people communicate, builds relationships, is what inspires people to take action and gets people to volunteer when they would otherwise stand back and follow.
When I think back to why I do the work that I do, I can honestly say, it is the process that I love. I love working with people, bridging gaps in relationships, making something happen from a simple idea and inspiring others to lead. The greatest joy for me is watching the process happen and being a part of something that can only happen through a long and complex process that might only boil down to a small batch of syrup in the end. That is not what matters, what matters most is the time, people, and relationships that are built along the way.
We have a great team at our office and get to work with so many amazing people. I can’t wait to start the next adventure!