Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:37:00 PM
I live in fast-paced suburbia, the world of Bluetooth and moms in minivans constantly chaperoning their kids from the rec center to the friend’s house to the last minute sleepover. We suburbanites come in contact with nature, just more of the cultured and decorative variety. We’re going to spend more time manicuring our hedges and lawns to perfection than heading out to the park. The minority of my community spends free time biking, hiking, and whatnot. On a Saturday afternoon, there will be more television watching than nature appreciating. Living in this area that doesn’t particularly pay much attention to nature (outside of the five day forecast), doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about her. I’ve been inspired by nature to escape a hectic world and embrace the simplicity she offers.
There are times when modernity overwhelms me. After a whole morning of driving around running errands, seemingly spending most of that time stuck at a red light. After an hour spent surfing the Internet. After a morning wasted flipping through channels, not really watching anything, but too bored and unmotivated to do otherwise. It’s these times that I slip away into nature. Because nature’s a friendly companion; there’s no need to talk to her, no need for effort, no need to anything more than enjoy.
I’ll call up a some of my softball teammates. In half an hour, there’s five or six of us at our field, nearly hidden away. Thirty minutes by highway to a small town (where there’s not many residents, but a long of crop acreage), to the field surrounded by a cow pasture with two cows, a cemetery, and a patch of berries. We can spend a couple of hours running drills and diving across the powdery dirt. Then, once we’re all too tired to swing the bat, we can wade through the dense berry bushes, picking the fattest berries and shrieking when we plunge our hands through a spider web. Or I can take a notepad and pen outside and climb up to the comfortable branch of the maple in our yard. I’ll sketch our neighbor’s bent paper birch, with its thin flakes of bark blanketing the bed of tulips below. I’ll scribble out a poem or close my eyes and listen to the birds cheep around me. I can jump down and stretch out on the soft grass. Maybe my little sister will toddle out with two cups of lemonade, and we’ll laugh at bunnies darting across the driveway until the sun leaves the sky. Nature inspires a life where I simply enjoy myself.
I’ll admit, I’m in no way a huge nature buff. I’ll willingly spend an hour indoors Skyping my friends with the perfect spring day just five steps out the door. But I won’t neglect nature. Rather, she’s a constant comfort whenever I need her, an easy escape, a detox from technology, for those days when I just need some simplicity.