Nature in the city

Yesterday I made it out into the bush. It was awesome, the smell, the sounds, the largeness of it all.

Creek photo

It caused me to reflect on the limitations of ‘connecting with nature’ in urban environments. When you are in the bush you are overwhelmed by the non-human, you don’t have to look for it, you don’t have to try, it’s just there.

In the city it’s possible to notice non-human nature doing its thing but it’s so easy to look past it or through it or over it. It actually requires you to attune yourself, to actively engage, search with eyes, ears and mind.

A. and I walked past the great grandmother tree on Saturday and he saw someone sitting under it with a guitar. He asked what they were doing and I suggested that they might be playing songs for the tree. A then said “I love the grandmother tree.” It was a fine moment, not only because he expressed love for a tree but also because he has unquestioningly adopted my name for it. I suspect that he hasn’t learned to overlook the non-human in the city, I am envious. When do we learn to stop noticing?

This gives rise to other questions, does the distinction between ‘human cultivated/controlled’ and ‘wild’ matter? Technically it’s all nature right? That’s the understanding that I’m trying to ground here and yet there is a qualitative difference between environments that have been constructed by humans for our own purposes and those that are not.

One thought on “Nature in the city

  1. Pingback: Here and now | Humans are nature

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