As I sit under my tree, facing Althouse, I get a sense of how nature interacts with human activity everyday. Buildings over there, here, and over on the other side, nature cannot escape humans built environment. Sycamo’s branches appear to be bold and fierce with how they extend outward. A gust of wind cuts through the trees and building on the academic quads. Sycamo’s rustling of leaves in the wind is overshadowed by the sounds of loud engines and exhausts.
Time passes and student activity increases with the beeping and clicking of doors as students enter academic buildings. A friend approaches me as she notices I am sitting under a tree. It is interesting how people question as to why one would interact with nature in such way. Is it weird to sit under a tree? She seemed puzzled as to why I was writing a blog about a random tree, to which I replied that this is not a random tree, but a Sycamore Tree within a human built environment. The conversation ended on a positive note, as she left with a better understanding of why nature should be recognized and appreciated more for its beauty and contribution to our good health. More often than not, we as students disregard the presence of nature within our campus, unless it is a picture to post on social media.
I am amazed at the beauty of trees at night. Each with their own personality, distinct looks, and purpose. Leaves rustling. Cars driving by. Students going in and out of buildings. The sound of crickets chirping begins to sound off. The chirping sounds make me think of the relationships nature has with all the insects, animals, and plants. It provides an array of important functions that humans cannot meet as they are constantly modifying the environment to their liking.
The smell is that of soil, grass, and manure that facilities may have spread earlier in the day. Cold air sends chills down my body. As I sit with Sycamo and look on, I realize he is lost in his own world. He works within his surroundings (as far as his roots go). He doesn’t have the ability to think critically or express emotion, yet he has the gift to nurture others. I look on and think to myself, what a beautiful campus.