After I moved to Ithaca, nature was always at my fingertips – I didn’t have to venture far to see a tree who’s name I knew, or hear a bird sing a familiar song.
If I really needed to clear my head, I was never too far from a trail or woodland clearing where I could sit, feeling as though I was the only person on the planet.
I became so accustomed to the presence of forests that I don’t think I truly conceptualized what it would be like to be so far removed from them.
Despite my affinity for nature, I simultaneously find myself drawn back to cultural biodiversity – something Central New York sorely lacks.
With that in mind after a more than a few winters and summers had past I found myself moving closer to where I grew up than I ever anticipated.
Living here in New York and working as a journalist, I have certainly learned and experienced more cultural biodiversity than I could have ever hoped for, or even imagined.
Most significantly, this provides me with a more comprehensive and pragmatic paradigm through which to see the things I hold dearest, and the problems they face.
I can’t deny that I miss the woods I spent so much time in, but I have since discovered nature elsewhere in places I never would have sought it before.
I routinely found myself drawn to the closest park when I finished my shift at work and I have amassed a small forest of house plants, as well as begun to study herbs and botany.
When I do go for hikes, or spend time in wooded areas, I am that much more present, and grateful.
It might seem like living in a big city would bring me further away from the forest than ever – but I think it’s brought me closer than ever.