For our second to last class blog, we had to go on a nature walk without any technology. While carefully choosing and taking in the environment of our choice, my peers and I contemplated identity and whether environment has an effect on it.
I chose to go to my absolute favorite park in New York City, Central Park. I chose to go there because I have so many fond (and not so fond) memories there. My childhood and Central Park have a very close relationship, one that will last forever. Central Park is such a beautiful place in every season and the fact that it is a man-made park amazes me. The creativity put into creating the park boggles my mind. The official website offers a virtual tour but nothing beats the real thing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, a transcendentalist who wrote a philosophical analysis on nature titled Nature. After reading Emerson’s take on nature’s impact on identity, I would agree that nature does shape the identity of those who truly see nature. Emerson states that, “few adult persons can see nature…the sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye of the heart of the child” (Emerson 216). Children can usually see past the ugly in the world because they haven’t quite been affected by reality. They are typically more curious and see the beauty in things before they see the bad. Emerson’s argument is the foundation to my hypothesis that those who are exposed to nature, especially while young, will be transformed by the experience.
Nature transforms the way people think. There’s nothing like natural spaces in comparison to the rest of the world. The people in my life who grew up in rural settings are fascinated by city life and vice versa. Emerson asserted that, “In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows” (Emerson 217). This explains the joy and the exhilarating feeling I as well as so many others experience in the presence of nature. No one, not even the committee who created Central Park can manufacture the beauty and power of natural growth.
I connect with the artistry of the winding paths, the rock hills, the different kinds of trees and the people enjoying the park just as I do. Central Park may not be the most natural place in terms of growth since the park was designed by humans but the sight is still captivating. I get nostalgic just at the thought of me going to Central Park. There’s so many thoughts and memories and life altering events that have occurred for me in that space. I also think my perspective is more broad than some of my peers who rarely immerse themselves in the nature. It is not enough to encounter nature, one must be open to truly seeing nature for what it’s worth.