Being in the mountains recently reminded me of just how important risk is.
Managed risk in childhood allows children to feel where the edge of safety is.
They learn to hear and listen to the voice within them and builds confidence in their ability to manage themselves.
Experiencing a sense of danger teaches care and respect.
A childhood devoid of this risk leads us into the teen years and beyond with little awareness of consequences.
Play constantly interupted by adults telling children not to do something out of fear that they may hurt themselves, leads to young adults who are not comfortable relying on their own ability to make wise decisions in tricky situations.
Assessing the risk before speaking means adults can respond rather than react.
Mostly I find that the risk is negligible or the consequences are manageable.
The experience is worth having.
Wet clothes, bumps and scrapes are all manageable and don't usually happen anyway.
Knowing the environment is an important part of this.
A late childhood spent mostly in the bush and near rivers means that I feel confident in these environments and can read a situation quickly.
And as the weather warms and the days grow longer, we are looking forward to being out in these wild places more.
If you want to know a place, you need to be in it a lot.