The Impact of Nature
Dylan Ashcraft, Division 2, 12th grade #ws17e-s3d2

Since the early beginnings of writings and recorded history, mankind has written about the eccentric, yet simple wonders of nature. Many of these writers had attributed the grandiose cycle of nature to an almighty, divine being that put it in place. In more recent history, an American writer and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau had written a novel about the enticements that true nature has to offer, this novel is known as Walden (book). One of his famed excerpts from Walden is “We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

Ever since I had discovered the writings of Henry David Thoreau, I have seen nature in a different perspective than I had before. I now realize that nature is a gargantuan clock that cycles through a vast number of natural events and occurrences that all affect each other in one way or another. But, before the enlightenment of reading Thoreau’s Walden, I saw nature as nothing beautiful, I had hated the outdoors, and most tragically nature elicited no emotion from me. But, as a young child, I can remember exploring through the trees and different bushes along with my friends and finding an exhilarating experience along the way. Another contributor to my newly-founded perspective on the spectacle beauty of nature is my love for art, more specifically, drawing and painting.

Many of the impressionist and post-impressionist artists inspired me to see nature in a new light, as they happily and diligently recreated the nature scenes around them on a couple of blank canvases. My dream date has since consisted of going out into a viewpoint of the miracle known as nature, with my date and relax with our blank canvases, easels, sets of paints and paintbrushes, and just transfer what we see onto our canvases by using our art supplies to recreate what one higher being has already created. Every time during the late evening when I see the sun setting beneath the clouds which leaves all but two colors left in the sky, the beautiful blue backdrop and the pink fluffy cotton candy-like clouds floating about, I can’t help but think to myself “I wish I could learn to paint like God.” Nature has left a strong impact on my more recent years of my life, as when I come to Gaia’s gorgeous, natural embrace, I start to count my blessings in life. Not just has the landscape, and plantation of nature affected my overall view on life, but the animal kingdom of nature has as well.

There’s been so many days where I’ll be watching the birds socializing with each other, bees collecting pollen from fresh flowers, and even something as simple as watching the sunflower stalks turning towards the sun gives me ecstasy. I have been battling internalized depression for the past 4 years and growing and developing along with nature has given me a reason to wake up in the morning and quite literally smell the roses. While prescription medications have always been a part of my teenage life, they haven’t always been successful in their endeavors to “cure” my depressive episodes. But, one reason for continuing to wake up every morning is to explore the ever-wondrous qualities of nature, a true medication for my depression.
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