The Depth of a Shallow Blue: What Nature Means to Me

Nature itself can be so inspiring, yet so broad a word – the drizzling spring rain against a backdrop of evergreens may inspire one, but the soft scuttle of an insect across grainy sand might inspire another.

Nature itself can be found in a canyon, untouched by man yet inhabited by many; or by the soft thistle of weeds, breaking out into the world by way of sidewalk cracks.

To me, nature is the inspiration in the world around us. It grabs the soul, fills the senses, and leaves us almost winded. The depth of shallow blue in the sky above, the smell of sweet florals, the symphony of chirps and whistles. All of it coherent and connected.

It brings a sense of rejuvenation, an awakening to the presence around us. Nature brings me joy and grounding. It fills me with wonder, yet helps my body stay rooted to the world I’m in. A walk through the park is like a mini retreat, a place I can go to clear my mind and focus my senses. I can smell the earth around me, hear the crunch of snapped twigs beneath my feet. I can feel the cool breeze pass gently across my face, and see a vivid display of bright colors and shapes.

The joy of immersing myself in nature is akin to the sheer delight a child feels as they walk into a theme park. The lights mesmerizing and the scents intoxicating.

We sometimes stigmatize a fascination with nature; we call one another hippies and tree huggers with tones of degradation. Yet when did we become so disillusioned, so disjointed from the natural world around us? Why have we hidden away in a concrete jungle, where the greenery of our world struggles to emerge? There must be a reason why the view from atop a hill fill us with grandeur and fascination, why the scent and sound of an ocean fills us with calm and delight.

Nature itself can be so broad, but so too can its effects.


– Emily Shapiro