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I Can Not Survive Without Nature

My wife and I hadn’t been to the Dutch beach for three years. Today, we finally made it there. Before reaching the beach, we had to pass through some sand dunes built by the Dutch to stop the wind and water. There was also a nice forest nearby. We rode our bikes 18 kilometers to get there, passing the forest on the way. We didn’t know where to take a break until we saw a hill covered in pine trees next to the bike path. It seemed like a good spot to rest after biking for so long. We parked our bikes and climbed the hill. The pine trees were beautiful, and it felt like we were the only ones there. The sun, which we hadn’t seen in a while due to winter rain, came out and made the pine trees shine.

Sitting on the cool ground with my wife, I thought about how different life is in the city. We often end up sleeping after work because there’s not much else to do. Even simple activities like swimming become hard to achieve because of the heavy traffic. But being in the forest was the opposite. In the city, we try to stay inside as much as possible—avoid the noise and people but in nature, we want to be outside—to walk, explore, and experience everything around us. Even though there are dangers, being in nature makes us feel alive. We experience the simplicity of being human and how equal we are to everything around us. All of a sudden, being out in the wilderness didn’t seem so frightening anymore. In fact, it felt more daunting to think about being back in the city.

I’ve heard many people say they can’t imagine life without nature, and I agree. Just having a potted plant, some dirt thrown in the side of the road or hearing birds makes a big difference. It’s hard to feel human without those little signs of life.

In the forest, I thought about how much more interesting the tall trees were compared to tall buildings in the city. I’d rather climb a tree than look at a view from a building. Being there with my wife, time seemed to slow down. You could spend hours staring at a tree and never get bored. There’s so much to notice—like the different layers of bark, the way the roots twist and turn beneath the soil, and is that lichen growing on it? What about the vine winding its way around the trunk? And why do the leaves look like that? Everything about it is fascinating and incredibly soothing to observe.

As I lay on the grass, I felt like I could finally breathe properly, as if my lungs were saying thank you for the fresh air. Looking at the grass beside me, I realized how much I had in common with it, both of us just part of nature under the tall trees. Nature shows us how we’re each special, but also connected in some way. I noticed the patterns in the tree rings and how the trees stretch towards the sun. Then, I saw a strange bug on a blade of grass, a reminder of the many surprises nature holds.
The forest smelled incredible, unlike anything I’ve ever known. It got me thinking about how tricky it must be to recreate that scent in a fancy perfume. It’s like the smell is an essential part of the whole forest experience, making everything just right. What’s funny is, every forest has its own special scent. It’s like a blend of all the living things in it and how the weather affects it.
Everything was so quiet and peaceful. It felt like we were the only ones in the world, with no worries or stress. Nature seems simple, but it can be complex if you think too much about it. However, when you just enjoy it, it is easy to understand and appreciate.

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Steph laying down in the forest.

As the sun started to set and the breeze picked up, my wife said she didn’t want to leave. I wished we could stay too, but reality called us back home. Packing up, I wished we could hold onto that moment forever—it was one of the best memories we’ve ever made.
Sometimes, I worry that sharing simple memories of nature might seem odd to others. They might think, “You just went to the forest, what’s so special?” But for me and my wife, writing about nature comes from a place of love and appreciation. We understand that nature isn’t always easy, but we embrace it wholeheartedly. As I grow older, my fascination with nature only deepens. I find myself drawn to the forest or the beach, totally immersed. Sometimes I daydream about my wife and me walking hand in hand, our backs fading into the depths of an endless forest until we vanish from sight forever, never to be seen again.

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