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What’s Your Relationship With Nature?

Mine has been mostly a lie

By Lucy Dan (she/her/她)Published 3 years ago 3 min read
What’s Your Relationship With Nature?
Photo by Tim Swaan on Unsplash

As a writer, do you write about the things you know and believe in, or do you write about what everyone else is writing about? Which of the two do you think is better?

I’m still struggling with this one.

It came from a fleeting thought to myself: I should stop writing about nature. I am such an imposter when it comes to crafting pieces about anything nature related, as your locally grown indoor plant.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that nature is a great as a concept. I am so jealous of those who love nature and can interact with it. I look at Aimée Gramblin ’s posts about gardening and my internet brain internally whispers: “…#goals”.

***

However, somewhere along the evolutionary line, someone like me was born. Someone who is definitely an “indoor plant”, a greenhouse baby grown in the most controlled of indoor conditions; unsuited for all kinds of outdoor weather.

By Coley Christine on Unsplash

In the spring, summer and autumn, I am deeply allergic, and when I say that I mean so deeply allergic to the outdoors that even on anti-histamines, my body treats me to the whole suite. For the entirety of all of these seasons, I am sneezing, my eyes are watering and stinging, and my nose will leak like an improperly shut faucet.

This isn’t exactly the best combination of symptoms to exhibit when I’m outside right now, placing me in the direct path of getting yelled “you’re the Chinese virus!” from across the street.

By Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

When the beautiful colours of the autumn finally arrive and my sense of smell returns as the allergens decline, I am met with a nasty surprise. The whole world smells like rot. You know that smell of the compost? I smell a faint but undying scent of this rotting throughout fall until winter arrives.

It’s most unfortunate because people always talk about the beautiful smells of nature, the flowers, the leaves, the forests. The only smell I associate with nature is that of leaves decaying.

By Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Winter is my favourite. Things are dead and not reproducing, and by things I mean plants and by reproducing I mean “not creating irritants that trigger a series of immune responses”. It smells like nothing because it is too cold to smell. For about one week in winter, all is beautiful as an overturned snowglobe. For the rest of the winter, all we see is the dirty ice and snow, mixed with ugly mud.

It’s the only season where I can comfortably go outside, but it requires nothing short of a spacesuit. My only “nature” walks outside are snow waddles, decked head to toe in snug.

It’s still nice though. This is my kind of outside, if I can even call it that.

***

So who am I to speak about Nature when I do not actually interact with Nature? To talk about waterfalls and forests and flowers and bugs as if we were the best of buddies, when 99% of my life is spent indoors?

Nature is as magical and mythical to me as dragons and fairies and space portals.

At the same time, perhaps it’s precisely because I cannot relate to nature in person that I’m trying to artificially create one through my writing. I can metaphorically be with nature, even if I cannot be a part of nature.

***

This reflection fit into a larger picture of not trying to bend and hide who I am to fit into a community, just because everyone else writes about nature as a metaphor for almost every aspect of life.

By Paul on Unsplash

***

I am not a flower child, not one of those kids who frolicked through the meadows.

I am a brain encased in bone, atop some marshmallow-jello flesh, completely unequipped to be anywhere other than inside an unnatural boxed cage. The ones that people write, with the contemptuous tone, about “being on their phones” and “being too artificial and caged inside” and “not understanding nature.”

I am making space for that because not everyone has access or has the ability to access nature.

***

This piece was first published here.

humor

About the Creator

Lucy Dan (she/her/她)

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    Lucy Dan (she/her/她)Written by Lucy Dan (she/her/她)

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