I can already imagine it: A cold winter day, a thin layer of snow coating the ground and my concerned roommates looking at me as though I have three heads. "Madeline, where are you going?!" I shrug. "Outside." I will probably state rather matter-of-factly.
Rain or shine, the outdoors has always been a happy place for me, but I remember when I first realized that it was more than that. I was in seventh grade, which (I am sure I am not alone in saying) was a rough time.
It was finally spring, and even though it was still quite cold out I quickly grabbed a long straw mat, lugged my giant backpack filled with an excess of textbooks and binders that I probably didn't need, and made a beeline for the backyard. My amused mom watched from the kitchen window as I laid out in the browned grass, still dead from the rough winter, and set my heaps of homework around me.
I didn't mind sitting in an uncomfortable position to do homework, nor did I mind lying in the grass or the bright sun in my eyes. I was just so, so happy. It was as though I had lost an old friend and had finally met her again.
When I am in nature, everything seems healed and restored. Fatigue, anxiety, or a broken heart seems to fade away under the afternoon sun. There is no feeling comparable to swimming among the rough, salty waves of the ocean or sinking your bare feet into the cool grass, still damp from morning dew.
Have you ever drowsily stumbled outside at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise with your friends? Have you ever stood tall at the top of a mountain and gladly watched your worries shrink as you understood that life was much bigger than you thought?
This world is so endlessly beautiful that I couldn't imagine being anywhere else but right outside where we belong. So, let the sparkling morning sun cure your tired eyes, let climbing that tree bring you the smile you have been missing for awhile now, and allow your gaze to fall upon the innumerable stars to mend your aching heart. We all hurt sometimes, but nature may be the only medicine you need.