Nature Speaks Youth

Katie - Golden Valley, Minnesota
Entered on June 2, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: nature

I believe that the youth have a special connection with nature.

Being a youth, I know the most common misconception about nature and the young. I sit on the other side of it, preferring to look through rose-colored glass to see it if at all. But the truth is I may appreciate it more than anyone. What gives me power is not that I have yet to see the world, what gives me power is that everything I see, I see it for the first time. I see true beauty.

My favorite part of Girl Scouts (besides the awesome people) was the camping. I was the girl who walked into the river with the leeches in it, the girl who tripped on the little rock in the middle of our hiking trip and had to be carried back to the tent. I was the girl who made the mistakes so nobody else had to.

But I was also one of the girls who felt it. When I stepped up to the cliff above the towering riverbank, I saw. A life deeper than mine leapt and dove inside the shallow pool of my being. It gave me depth and purpose to look out on the sky of pouring red, etched cliffs, breathing leaves, and the rippling water below.

My least favorite part of Girl Scouts was coming home from camping trips. I always anticipated seeing my family again, getting to sleep in my own bed, getting to hug my cats. But there was one thing I always forgot about coming home. Nothing seemed real. Out there everything was a harsh but beautiful reality that made every emotion sharp and clear. At home in a quite suburb all emotions became one big blur again. Nothing was clear; nothing was as it should be. Something was wrong.

When I watch TV, the dad on the 30-minute comedy show always tries to avoid the camping trip with his family. Why? When I go into the city, all colors disappear. Why? Most of the grown ups in my life surround themselves with what is contrary to true nature. What is contrary to nature? I don’t know what it looks like, what it smells like, or what it is exactly, but I can feel it. I feel it in the office building and in the big city streets. When you grow up your supposed to study weeknights, and party others. When you grow up, you have to do things.

When I can’t get to unfiltered nature, I look for the closest comfort to it. I feel glimmers of nature when I walk passed the elementary school, look at the old playground where I used to ride and the swings and kick off my shoes, and hug my little cousin. I feel nature blossom in the hearts of the young. The closer I conform to society, and the closer I come to becoming an “adult”, the farther I’m pulled from the warm embrace of nature. This, I believe.