It seems nowadays, that cities are winning the war against nature. People flock to them and recreate incessantly while there. Concrete jungles replace real ones until there is a lack of fresh air and someone begs for a tree to be planted.
Urban gardening and parks offer city-dwellers a chance to reconnect with the earth and be part of the soil, while escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Recreation and relaxation are the most common pursuit for spending time in nature. People need to feel connected to the earth in some way, to be reminded who they are and where they come from.
The outdoors can be uncomfortable for a domesticated human, what with all the mosquitoes and chilly winds or blistering suns. But it is something everyone needs to do from time to time, if not every day.
It can be scary sometimes, being alone in the woods. You never know what is behind this tree or that. What spiders crawl under-toe. Aside from the bugs, what I love about being in nature is never knowing what could be found. Discovering streams of water and different forms of lichen that grows on the trees and rocks. An opportunity to hear the birds that occupy the trees, who welcome you in song.
Tiny ecosystems and organisms exist all around us, but are you looking?
The world is full of so much beauty and wonder. The earth is unique, dynamic and diverse. It is an unstoppable force that many humans feel they can own. Instead of packaged for commercial use, it needs to be loved and nourished properly.
I am fortunate to live in such a beautiful place. The forests are preserved and most of it appears untouched by man. Living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there is an unlimited network of trails to tread through and much to explore.
Whereas when I go home to Chicago, I am not so lucky. On the southern shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is a green city with a vast number of parks and urban gardens. Nonetheless, its urbanization grows with the times. It is easy to get lost amongst tall buildings and dark alleys, and forget what was there before everything was built.
People are not meant to live in cities and it can affect how they feel. When reuniting with nature, spirits are lifted and souls calmed. We come from the earth. We are a part of it. It is essential for everyone to get outside and bask in what earth has given to us. Dirt is meant to be felt between our toes. The sun should warm as fresh air renews us. In a city, one tree can go a long way.