Writing in an Endangered World
Coming into this class, I’ll admit that I had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t read any books about the environment before, so I didn’t know what this class was going to be about. I didn’t know how interested in the environment I was, but I thought it was a good class to take because I’d never taken an environmental class before. After the first couple of classes, it turns out there actually are a lot of resources about the environment. I even remembered a song on my own that’s specifically called “Dirt.”
Looking back into other parts of my life, there are other songs that actually motivate me to do something in the world or just go outside that I didn’t realize until this week. My favorite songs are ones that describe nature scenes. For example, “The Best Day” by Taylor Swift reminds me of being a kid around Halloween time. Swift mentions the “pumpkin patch,” “the sky is gold,” and having a “big coat on.” It reminds me how important the environment was to me as a kid and how I paid attention to every little detail outside when I was younger. It makes me wonder why I don’t do that as much now.
“Bubbly” by Colbie Caillat reminds me of the calming and simplicity of nature. I love seeing the scenery in this music video. She mentions “rain is falling on my window pane, but we are hiding in a safer place.” The music video displays nature through summer days and summer nights, and it just makes me want to go outside and be free in nature.
Overall the song that I think of most is “Waiting On the World to Change” by John Mayer. It just makes me think of the world and how much could potentially be bettered. It’s interesting that he mentions everyone’s waiting on the world to change instead of doing something about it. It feels like this is what most people do when it comes to big issues surrounding the environment.
I’ll post a separate section on my blog for songs/resources I find that remind me to think about nature and the environment, but I feel like it’s important to include here because music/movies are ultimately what’s going to shape our thoughts on the environment, whether we know it or not.
If someone were to ask me if I’m always conscious of the natural environment, my honest answer would be no. I don’t always pay attention to the world around me. Sometimes I’m so busy that I don’t even notice the fresh air I’m breathing until I step through a cloud of cigarette smoke being blown in my direction. I would like to say that the environment is always on my mind, but in reality, the only time I’m able to think about it is when I have the time to – like when I recycle, or when I go on a walk.
When I was a kid, the environment was so important to me. My eye was always on sticks and stones, and collecting the best ones. I would put them all in a bucket with mud and make “dirt soup.” It was fun to stir it up and pretend I was stirring a cauldron. Then I would dump it out and pretend I was making a cake. My sister and I made an out door clubhouse of rocks and pretended to live there. Then we’d crush acorns as food and walk barefoot on all the rocks because it made us feel tough. We basically spent all day outside to the point that being indoors with real walls and walking on carpet after spending all day on sharp rocks felt strange. There’s a different feeling you have when you’re outside in the sun, observing the trees. It almost feels like you are a tree, and going back inside is a whole different world.
As I got older, I stopped interacting with the environment as much. My schoolwork was indoors, so I figured I didn’t have time to go outside. It’s like the trees, the clouds, and the sun all disappeared, but I know it’s still there. I know it’s important, I know it’s dying, but I just don’t spend enough time doing anything about it – which gets me wondering, why do we ignore something that’s literally keeping us all alive?
Maybe some people don’t want to be labeled as “activists” or “environmentalists.” Maybe other people really don’t care what happens to the environment. Maybe some people are just “waiting on the world to change.” I personally think that taking care of the environment is something everyone should do automatically. Recycle, pick up trash when it falls on the ground, hang out with a tree every now and then. It’s the little things that count.
Unfortunately, some people don’t care as much about the world because most environment/science classes have historically been taught indoors, and that’s something that should be done outdoors or at least through experience. Take them to see dolphins, take them to a farm, have them plant some trees or garden, or even go apple picking! Most people don’t learn until they actually experience it, and not everyone has had the opportunity to experience that world beyond humans.
When I think of the environment, I usually think about the trees, pollution, or recycling, but animals are a part of that world too. People tend to forget that. Throwing trash on the ground also affects those cute little animals we all love. Take care of the ground, take care of the animals. We’re all connected in one way or another, and we all have to take care of each other.
Classes like this one remind me to be conscious of the environment around us, and that’s a good thing.