of fountains and trees on paved spaces

We people are a queer lot. We build cities at the expense of nature then put trees and fountains on paved spaces.

No, this is not a rant from an environmentalist although I’d like to think I love God’s creation enough to say quite a few words about nature so here it goes.

As I sit this afternoon on a bench under a tree, listening to the rush of water from a fountain, I am suddenly jolted awake to the reality of how artificial my surroundings are. Buildings, highways, buses, cars, trains. The city. Noise everywhere. Nine years of it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love this city. I wouldn’t have stayed this long if I didn’t. In fact, I couldn’t imagine being based anywhere else right now and there are people here who I love. People who’ve become family to me. But lately, a part of me has been noticing more and more often the pollution. The noise. The crazy speed of life.

I am waiting for a friend as I write this. And I find it funny that these thoughts have suddenly cropped up as I wait for her. This friend of mine is an environmentalist. She takes care of sea grasses and does a lot of traveling and research so she could learn more about them and thus protect mother nature more effectively. She calls herself a treehugger and she loves walking barefoot on any ground with grass, a process which she calls earthing. I guess this is one of the reasons why I find her a kindred spirit. I’m a big fan of nature too. I think all children of the Creator are. And there are those of us who grew up running on wide, grassy spaces, climbing trees, swimming in rivers and seas so that after a long time of not being able to do these things one feels as if a big part of oneself has been neglected.

Maybe all the city noise is finally getting to me. I feel like I need to be away from it all for some time.

I miss the sand between my toes, the grass beneath my feet, the cool, clean air blowing on my face. I miss taking a dip in the river and playing with the waves of the sea. I miss saying hello to the sun as it slowly peeks out from behind the mountains and saying goodbye to it later in the day as it hides from me again. And minutes after that, saying hey there to the moon. I miss dark, wide velvet skies where millions of stars are laid out. I miss the sound of the stream rushing and leaves rustling and the wind whispering.

And lately, fountains and trees on paved spaces can’t substitute for them anymore.

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