I have always lived in cities where there shouldn’t be cities: Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Madrid. Deserts and swamps, drought and blizzards. Perhaps I am drawn to the conflict of taming nature, of wanting to be both in nature and a city. I have recently started collecting indoor plants, in an attempt to make the white walls of my flat seem less dull, less adult.
For the Get Messy Season of Nature, I decided to explore this conflict. And not just my increased concern of global warming and the impact living in a city has on the surrounding area, but the impact that nature has on humans and the interconnection between the two. We are, after all, animals too.
You can see examples of humans imitating nature everywhere- ant hills, birds nests, the social interaction of dolphins. But what reminds of city life the most, is beehives. The constant buzz, the movement, the impact that every single bee has in the social fabric of the hive.
The human city life is just a larger version.
Growing up in a desert, I have always understood the scarcity of water, the constant struggle to both consume and preserve. Yet I grew up having a garden, in a state known for its golf courses, where farmers grew corn, cotton and lettuce year round.
I wrote stories about how farmers in Arizona measure water and how technology has advanced to allow them to use every single drop. I even won an award.
Yet I continued (and still continue) to take showers every day, running the tap more than I should, consuming meat.
The struggle for survival, for water, is a battle between nature and humankind.
While I think there is a lot that humans are doing to destroy nature, there is also so much beauty in the world that it’s impossible to not be inspired. I am not the kind of person who can just live on a self-sustaining farm. I need to live in a city, to be around people, to use public transport. Does that need for dwelling in a skyscraper mean I need to hate the countryside? No. I do believe humans and nature can live side by side. It’s why I am trying to implement Zero Waste in my life, why I recycle and don’t drive a car.
I might not be able to reduce all the harm we have done to the planet, but I can at least do what I can to not make it worse.
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