The Secret Language of Nature
Ashlee Gregg, Division 2, 12th grade #ws17e-s3d2

Nature is the environment that surrounds every individual on Earth. From the smallest potted plant—that might or might not be recently cared for—to the oldest redwood that stretches its limbs to the sky, every person is involved with nature. Though many might debate that nature is dying out for the age of modern technology, one thing remains true; nature speaks to us all in various forms. Whether it be the undeniable itch to go on a hike or take a sunbath, nature’s little voice is there whispering into our ears and telling us its secrets.

We all have our different hobbies that might, or might not, involve nature. In my life, nature vines around my heart and soul. Winter, summer, spring, or fall, I can be found barefoot in the driveway or snapping a photograph of the unique bird that perched on the large oak outside of my home. Nature and I have a secret dialect. One we use to breathe our stories into each and every seed. From flowers to vegetables, trees to succulents, each has their own history that was carefully weaved in whispered secrets, fertile soil, and a boat load of love.

Nature first spoke to me as a little girl. It came in the form of a lovely, wrinkled woman who lived in the house beside me. The same lovely woman who had adopted my mother so many years before. Nature came to me as a woman known as Nana. Nana and I spent years dedicated to planting flowers and watching for birds at the kitchen window. Autumn days chasing off the vicious magpies from the vegetables in our tiny backyard garden and spring mornings tugging weeds from our flower beds. Nature captured my heart at a young age, but departed sooner than I thought she would.

I heard from nature again as an introverted teenager who had recently lost her favorite grandparents within the span of three months. This time, it came in the form of a wooden cross hidden in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It arrived as the tiniest mutter in the night as I watched the midnight lights dance across the sky. The quietest voice I had ever heard offered to bear my sorrows and asked me one question. “Do you like what I created for you?”

Nature has never stopped whispering in my heart. It has grabbed ahold on my life and allowed me to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. While many students will read this question as what is nature’s role in your life, I read it as what is my role in nature. Nature is a gift to the world by our Creator. It provides us with the ability to not only survive, but to thrive in the world. Instead of asking nature what it can do for us, we as humans need to ask what we can do for nature. For its role to continue in our lives, nature has to be able to thrive as much as we do.

Therefore, the one response I can offer up about nature’s role in my life is fairly simple. Nature saved my life and gave me a reason to live. It whispers to me in the night and sings songs of joy in the morning. I used to only listen to nature, but now I join in with its song with a grin because I know that its language is not truly a secret—it is an invitation into a marvelous outlook on life itself. There is a soft whisper in every ear. Have you heard it?
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