The brightness in the room was pleasantly overwhelming; the curtains did very little in containing the light outside. But I did not mind because it was a soothing way of waking up. Although my eyes were closed, I could clearly see the white, yellow and orange shadows dance above my face and even though the window was closed I could feel the warmth of the sun tenderly sizzling on my chest. In the kitchen, I could hear my mother singing along to a song playing on the radio and the awkward sound of aluminum trying to be gently folded. It was Saturday and she was making sandwiches because soon we would be on our way to the park. My mother made a habit of always packing enough food to last us the entire time there and the left overs was often given to the squirrels, which I always believed was a peace-offering for allowing us to use their space that day.

I was my happiest on Saturdays because it meant being outdoors. And I loved the outdoors, the warmth of an afternoon summer breeze, the fragrance of grass that tingled my nostrils in the most delightful way and the feeling of accomplishment when I would leave with the scent of nature soaked in my clothing. When you are a child nature is not complicated, kids enjoy and cherish it because it provides them freedom and security, they build a relationship with nature and it’s gifts. when we were children we climbed trees, picked flowers, ran on the grass, and rolled down hills. Nature was our playground and we took comfort in it always being there for us. which makes us take it for granted and so we stop going to the park. We convince ourselves we have better things to do and play into the myth that we are too old to roll down hills and the smell of dirt mixed with sweat grosses us out. We resign from nature and confine ourselves to living an unnatural life based on routine. Where we spend most of our day in spaces that make us prisoners to hues of yellow produced by a bulb attempting to mimic what we once knew. I’ll admit I was one of those prisoners and I dismissed nature from my mind.

Until one day a friend asked me to meet them in the park. As I walked through The Ramble in Central park I noticed the sun as it shone brightly on the water, I had to squint through glimmers of light to see where I was going. And it struck me that I had lost sight of the beauty that I once embraced as a child. Nature had made me the happiest I had ever been and I needed to feel that way again. So the next day I went on a hike and made a promise to nature that I would never abandon her again.

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