Molly Peach-Yosemite Valley

A City Girl Takes a Nature Walk

Quarantine has me cooped up and I needed to escape. Luckily for me, one of my classes had us going to a nature spot and taking in the nature that was there as extra credit. So I did just that. I got my lazy self off the couch and took a walk to the park. As I was heading over, I thought, “Might as well share this experience with you because I have nothing left to share.”

Walking over to my spot, I was listening to Lauv and not really paying attention to my surroundings other than avoiding getting hit by a car. I live in a suburb and the park is basically in the middle, so in order to really immerse myself in...nature...I had to go really in the bulk of it. I found a dirt path and took it, thinking it would go straight in. Then I awkwardly was at the position where I had either gone on the left path or the right path. So I chose right, not really thinking of it. 

silhouettes during sunset

As I was stumbling down the path, there were branches everywhere. That seemed like such a weak sentence but it’s true— branches were on the ground, hanging off trees, laying in between trees, dangling from trees, torn about inside out on the ground, flies flying above it. Anyways, you’re probably bored of this. But it is the first observation that I had, and it was quite fascinating to me because it was a prime example of seasons changing from winter to spring and how weather (like storms) can destroy homes. Then when I was about to step off of the path and head towards the river, a branch hit me in the face, and it wasn’t so fascinating, my face just hurt. 

Pile of logs

Once I was by the river, I thought, “This is a good spot to do my observations in the class.” Only I really didn’t know what to look for, so I started to drift back to the branches, mainly because I was mad that one hit me. I realized that I could listen to my surroundings, thinking that maybe I could hear some birds chirping or the wind rustling through the trees and so on. But all I heard were two little kids screaming….so I wasn’t too happy. I gazed at the river, saw some rocks, and a bird even flew above me! I sat on a rock thinking that maybe I shouldn’t analyze nature, but just hang out, and vibe with it. 

Ohio University Athens Strouds Run

So I did just that, sitting for a good fifteen minutes, taking in my surroundings: the sticks tangled up in the path and leaves, the dirty water flowing, the wind making an appearance every three minutes, the sun nestling in between clouds. The scent coming through was clear, although I suppose that doesn’t mean much. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I was smelling but it was clear...On second thought, I think it was just fresh air instead of the stuffy air in my home...But it smelled sweet. 

What I took away from this walk experience is how foreign nature is to me. At the start, I was thinking too much and not really appreciating what was around me. The main reason was that I didn’t know what to appreciate. To me, the river was just water and I wasn’t thinking to look at what was in the water or how climate affects it. The branches were just wood off of trees, getting in my way. The buds peeking up on the ground were just...growing plants. This experience exposed how literal I viewed things and how I couldn’t just sit still and just be. But on the flip side, I did catch a glimpse of peace and what it feels like to actually enjoy what I take for granted. I felt myself exhale at times, not having to worry about the daily tasks and thoughts. This experience has motivated me to get out of my house, my backyard, and suburban life and to explore and enjoy that natural life outside of my own has to offer. 

girl with arms open in nature