Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 8:19:51 PM
There is an inexplicable stillness in nature that overrides every fiber of my being – mind, body, soul – with calm. The setting need not change this very specific feeling, either. I can sense it in the woods, covered in the shade of aromatic pines; I feel it as my toes squeeze sand on beaches; I know it’s present when I sit atop a golden, grassy hill. Its omnipresence has taught me that the connection we have with nature is unbreakable. It is waiting to be found by all of us – anywhere without the built-up façade of modern living. The freedom I experience in nature only inspires me to discover it further, to find myself in nature more.
Ever since I can remember, backpacking through woods and beaches with my parents unleashed a sort of rawness that I could never find anywhere else. Walking without the burdens of technology and material obsessions was freeing. I was aware then, and am even more aware now, of the skewed world I live in. It is a world in which week-year-old babies have presences on the Internet, five-year-olds have their own iPads, and half of my friends consider walking outside being “outdoorsy.” I’m not claiming to be any better; I use my computer incessantly. But I have had the opportunity to experience what true living entails. I often get lost in the vast exquisiteness of the world when I’m in nature. Experiencing it firsthand – not online or on television – contextualizes what freedom should really mean.
Furthermore, there is always a familiarity in the landscapes I discover. It is nothing like exploring a new neighborhood in San Francisco. I never feel unsafe or unenthusiastic when I am hiking or exploring in nature. I know there is wonder waiting for me throughout every twist and turn, and I feel that I know the earth as much as it knows me. It is in the curves of trees and crashing of waves that our innate sense of ourselves can be discovered. When we are in the solitude of nature, we can be at peace with ourselves. In turn, we are overcome with a calmness that is usually unattainable. There are no voices or advertisements or celebrities to make us feel anything. We are with only the sky and our minds, and that experience is infinitely more valuable than any article online.
I am sure anyone who has experienced nature for an extended period of time can identify with these feelings of comfort and solitude. I urge anyone who hasn’t to go out and find it right now. Climb a mountain, and see what you feel. Sit on a beach without any distractions. Bring an open mind and heart, and you will find that your connection with nature has been with you always. You just needed some inspiration to rediscover it, to finally feel free.