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A Journey Back to Nature

A case submitted by

May Zhang

Growing up, I always loved nature. Every vacation, I couldn't wait to go to my grandparents' house in a small rural town, in China. This place was full of animals and surrounded by nature. When I was about five or six years old, I could play outside all day there and never get bored. Nature was like my friend and teacher. It was always exciting and new.  

The natural world around me was a boundless playground where I could spend entire days outside, exploring, playing, and never getting bored. Nature was my companion, always there, always welcoming. It felt like the trees, the streams, and the animals were my friends. I would talk to them, and even though they couldn't talk back, I felt like they understood me. Most importantly, nature was my source of endless wonder and energy. After spending time outside, I would return home feeling refreshed and full of life. Playing in the mud, running through the fields, or just lying on the grass looking at the clouds – all these things filled me with a positive energy. I made up games, invented stories, and imagined adventures. It was a world where anything was possible, and it always left me feeling happy and inspired. Even if I had been feeling sad or bored, a little time with nature would lift my spirits. It was like the fresh air, the sunlight, and the sounds of the outdoors had a magical power to make me feel better.  

But as I got older, things changed. I got busy with school and work, and I started to use a lot of technology. Slowly, I stopped spending so much time in nature. I didn't really notice it at first. When people asked why I wasn't going out into nature like before, I said I didn't have time or the chance. But that wasn't the whole truth. 

The opportunity to share a climate story prompted me to introspect deeper than I had in years. It made me realize that my reasons for drifting away from nature were mere excuses. If I really wanted to, I could find time to be in nature. I had let myself forget how important nature was to me. 

Thinking about all this, I saw how important it is to be connected to the environment. It's not just about being outside; it makes us feel good inside, in our minds and hearts. As a child, the energy I drew from nature wasn't just the exuberance of youth; it was the power of being close to the earth and everything around me.  

So, I started to bring nature back into my life. I began with small walks in the park, just noticing the trees, birds, and the wind. These walks made me feel calm and happy. Then, I started going on longer walks in the forest on weekends. Being in the forest reminded me of how much I loved nature when I was a kid. It made me feel peaceful and clear-headed.  

My journey back to nature has been a rediscovery of an essential part of who I am. It's a reminder that no matter how far we stray, the path back to our natural roots is always there, waiting for us to take the first step. In reconnecting with nature, I've found not just the joy and peace of my childhood but a renewed sense of balance and purpose in life.


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