First semester is just about over, the cold weather has crawled in. The rain droplets posing at the tips of the branches ready to fall at any second when they shatter the silence. Calling, "attention! Attention! Look at me!" But no one is really watching them. They sit there in utter despair until they either dry up or fall to the ground. When that one drop does fall to the ground, it is taken in, abosorbed by the luscious, green blades of grass. As they are soaked into the ground, cared for and sheltered they are spread out to quench the thirst of the starved organisms inside the earth. Feeding the flowers and edible vegetables. They breathe out the oxygen we need and we breathe out the carbon dioxide they need. Who needs who more?
After I missed the group botanical and geogical tour, I started to question what was important to me. All the different things that were going through my head at once was overwhelming so I only focused on what was at the forefront of my mind happening right then and there. I forgot to email to let my group members know I wouldnt be able to make it. And that was 100 percent my fault. However, it makes me wonder whether or not we need to focus on the present or prepare and remember for the future. If we never made plans would things in life still get done. In the Bible we are supposed to leave our lives up to God and be able to completely surrender to him and not worry about the past or future only the present. Can we do that with nature? What about the reprocussions of the future? Would we have an enviroment to go back to if we keep destroying it as we do now? It seems to me that living in the moment and not thinking about our actions and consequences would be a negative affect on ourselves as well as on the environment and others.
How can nature be so cruel? How can it make the leaves wither and die then fall from the sky? The wind knocks them from the trees; sends them flying far from home. The leaves change, they grow from green to red ana orange to brown. Then to be mowed into millions of shreds, the ground now speckled with the remains of leaves. The trees are bare and broken once the wind sweeps away their babies. They stand lonley side by side naked. As if thrown out to die in the cold without a jacket. Only the roots keep them sound, keep them grounded from flying away into the open abyss of nature. With spring comes rebirth. The living and growing of life instead of death. There is always a rebirth, a new life to look forward to.
The cozy corner of the moonbench is its own little haven within itself. Anyone is welcome to sit there and enjoy what it has to offer. The upward view of senior row makes the path toward the moon bench a subtle, natural focal point of beauty. At the same time the moon bench lays empty often. The tradition goes if you kiss your significant other while sitting on the bench you will break up. This does not attract many couples. Plus the bench is also cold an hard like most man-made structures while the bushes bend around it to soften its features and the trees create a cocoon. The simplicity of the moon bench allows it to just sit and be its self. To have a timeless face and never change. Unlike the people and naute around it.
Never did I expect to find myself at an all women's college. Men have always played a huge role in my life whether they were my best friend or my boyfriend or my father. However, now that I am here nothing seems very different. There are still men around there are just less of them. The other day when I was talking to my friend Brian he was telling me that as he walks around Bryn Mawr and will often get prejudice looks from Bryn Mawr women. My father also recieved the same feeling the first time he visited campus as well. Although Bryn Mawr is a women's college and fosters a culture of strong women, is not the point of doing this to decrease the gender gap not increase it in the other direction? Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I know this is less about the environment and more about the culture of our campus but I feel it should be addressed.
When Professor Crawford was telling us about how she always walks looking at the ground because she wanted to look at the rocks I thought about all the other things that one could look at on the ground as well. Maybe an ant here or a flower there, but these things do not necessarily carry the history behind Bryn Mawr as well as the rocks do. I feel that next time I am staring at the ground I am going to look at the rocks like Professor Crawford to see if I actually notice anything, maybe if the rocks are shiny or if they resemble wistihicken (spellcheck needed). I feel that since we spend all the time looking around us when we walk that we miss a lot of different aspects of nature that are on the ground. Professor Crawford's different aspect has made me realize the importance of all the things that we do not think to do, like looking at the rocks on the ground instead of the trees. Our different frame of references of nature allow us to better understand each aspect of the environment.
I was sitting by the moon bench and staring at the buildings as I had done over and over before. They don't breath like the trees do. They don't shimmer and shake like the leaves do. At Harrington House the older buildings absorbed the sunlight or walled off the cold. They were ecofriendly. The houses take the heat from the sun to warm the house. It is as though the environment is in the house, or the house is part of the environment. As I looked at Park Science it was cold and rigid. Standing straight, not swaying in the wind. An upright posture compared to the more lackadaisical composure most students have. Park Science is a science building where I have biology class. Biology-the study of life. Life is all around the building except in it. The mahine made test tubes and assembly line/factory made tables. Compared with the houses at Harrington and the objects inside. In the kitchen the utensils were hand made and the chairs were carved from mahogany.
The new movement toward ecofriendly buildings, lifestyles and sustainability is not new. It has always been there. This new resurgence of sustainability or even permaculture causes us to relook at the history of older buildings such as Harrington House.
Ahh who ever thought sitting down could be so restless trying to avoid the rain covered seat. I feel like a biirdy on a perch trying to mimic my fellow birdies in the area. When in fact they are actually silent. Is this not a chipper day? The dark clouds overcast, the bone chilling cold blowing through my jacket. This is quite a lovely day for me! I breath in through my noise and as the cold air enters my lungs it causes me to cough and clear my throat. I like the feeling of my toes vibrating everytime I wiggle them as the sharpe jolts of pain shoot around my foot. I cannot be happier as I hear the acorns dropping all around me and wonder if one will make its way down onto my head. Kerplunk! Oh wait, that landed next to me. I enjoy giving up my comfort to sit on the top of the bench instead of letting my butt get drenched. I enjoyed trying a more comedic approach to nature because us as humans always seem so uncomfortable when we go outside our comfort zone and cannot get comfortable. So I thought I would play on that uncomfotableness and make it humerous since we all experience it.
Sitting. Feeling the wind on my skin. I am cold. Chills shake my being. Focusing on the shivvering trees and branches. My attention sticks to the wind. How can you capture the essence of the wind. Something real, something lifelike. Something that thrives on movement. A picture cannot capture the wind. A video barely can. The freedom the wind brings, not confining it to the pages of a book. The touch of the wind is something bechdel does not capture. One aspect that is untouchable is the physical feel of nature against your skin. Bechdel does not particularly highlight the aspects of nature that people feel on a daily basis when they walk outside. As I sat outside I enjoyed the feel of the wind blowing against my face and the sushine beating down at my back. There is no way to describe the wind and sun other than to experience it.
As I sat near the mood bench observing the green, steam was forcing itself out of my ears. The sky seemed blacker than ever. Even the bright lights seemed to darken my vision. I was in a bad mood. Nothing that I would normally do was helping. The sound of the crickets in the trees slowly, ever so slowly calmed me down. Just to be away from people. Just to once not feel like I was under a magnify glass when there is a whole world out there. A whole world where love exists and nature is a main component to life. As I was writing my third paper this weekend I thought about how our experiences are entangled pictures that all eventually define us as human beings. And as we experience life and the enviroment around us and take the time to do just that, its calming. By the end of my observation time, I felt more calm. I could bare all of lifes consequences and unfairness by just taking the time to stop and be away from people. This time alone has given me a new perspective on the word nature and life. I will remember this particular evening to calm the nerves and anxieties of life.