I woke up today with the breeze blowing through the window above my bed. The cool, urban air soothes me these days. I can smell damp foliage from the trees that line our street. I can hear the few morning birds chirp among the city’s industrious pigeon calls. Their tiny chirping reminds me of my much-greener hometown, where thousands of songbirds egg on each morning from the hundreds of trees bowing majestically over our neighborhood.
I had about thirty minutes to lie there and ponder, so I picked Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature from my bedside table:
“…nature satisfies by its loveliness and without any mixture of corporeal benefits. I see the spectacle of morning from the hilltop over against my house, from daybreak to sunrise, with emotions which an angel might share. The long slender bars of cloud float like fishes in the sea of crimson light. From the earth, as a shore, I look out into that silent sea. I seem to partake its rapid transformations; the active enchantment reaches my dust, and I dilate and conspire with the morning wind. How does nature deify us with a few and cheap elements! Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous. The dawn is my Assyria; the sunset and moon-rise my Paphos, and unimaginable realms of faerie; broad noon shall be my England of the senses and understanding; the night shall be my Germany of mystic philosophy and dreams.”
Our cities may feed our minds, but it is nature that purifies our souls. Nature grounds us.
I’m planning a day-long forest walk with one of my friends in late April. Our intention is to not talk about our lives, but just observe and play in the nature around us. We both believe that nature heals. We both believe that urban over-submersion creates depression and despondency.