For this blog post, I decided to walk an entire preserve by my house called Mill Pond. It’s about a 3 mile walk but luckily I went on an abnormally warm Tuesday. I decided to take the advice of bringing Emerson’s Nature along with me on this nature walk. Since it’s now autumn I had the pleasure of seeing all the gorgeous hues of red, orange and yellow throughout my walk. Fall usually doesn’t last very long and all these beautiful changes go unnoticed or unappreciated by me because my head is buried in a notebook somewhere trying to do well in all my classes. However, this hour I spent was one of the most tranquil and harmonious I’ve had in a long time. I put my phone on “Do Not Disturb” so I was still able to take photos of what I had the absolute pleasure of experiencing. I’m usually anxious all the time; my brain constantly swirling with thoughts of academic deadlines and meeting with advisors, but since I had to focus on my surroundings and nature, I was completely clear minded and at peace. A part of Emerson’s Nature that resonated with me the most was a quote from chapter one where he writes, “To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars.” While it might be melodramatic for me to say, this little nature-cation momentarily separated me from society regarding social media accounts (I’m shameful to admit I have an addiction to checking every five seconds.) I was able to read Emerson without the buzzing of my phone or the interruption of people discussing politics. I was able to enjoy the experience of nature and all it has to offer. From a sensory point, I was able to notice every moment the leaves would rustle by my feet as an animal scampered away from me. I was able to really hear and experience the rustling of fall leaves, as they brush against each other and inevitably break off and dance to the ground. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this experience and am grateful I was assigned this task. I believe nature can shape identity because when you experience it positively, as I did, you are able to identify with it more. Your mentality changes and becomes more appreciative of nature and the peace it can bring you.
Nature by Ralph Emerson, 1836.
Photos provided by me.