It is often said that it’s when you are far away from someone or something you appreciate it most, because you realize its beauty at a much higher degree. Nevertheless, when it comes to nature and the countryside, I bet this statement no longer applies. People who live or used to lived in the countryside seem to be fully embracing nature.
All my life, I have been housed in a big city. As a young person looking for adventures and exalting encounters, I have been very lucky. But as mere human being living in an era in which every event of our lives, including the most trivial one, must be existent on every social media platform, sometimes I wish I could get away more easily from all the fuss. And in times of disturbance, escaping from the excessive technology may be harder in a city where everybody is checking on their phones, whether it be in order to read their Facebook feed or to post a picture of the Métro signs on Instagram as a real life souvenir. In this moment of angst, in your head you would get mad at anyone just for sending a text message — because, oh my god, can’t you live for five minutes without your freaking phone? (Yeah, basically that could be me saying this in my head and hence getting even more tense.)
But in the countryside, none of this would happen, or perhaps it might happen but at a much smaller scale.
.Because there’s always been something peaceful about nature. The scent of the pines, the height of an oak, the sound of the brook winding through the forest, the waves rippling in the ocean… It is a radiant spectacle to attend. Time has stopped. We are guided by magic.
When I visit my grandfather on the Atlantic coast in summer, we are used to take a walk in the woods after dinner. We are fortunate to have the house located only three minutes away from the forest, and ten minutes from the beach by passing through the woods. These evening walks are so very relieving. We keep an eye on our surroundings, hoping we come across some roe deer. And when we finally stumble upon one, we take some time to appreciate the beauty of nature, somewhere we feel so small, without thinking for a minute of the photograph we could take with a mobile phone. Through the years, I have almost come to forbid myself to lay hold of my phone during these walks.
On the other hand, when I stay at my family’s in South Italy, I am amazed by the grace of the Amalfitana coast on our late night walks. But there is nothing like meandering through the mountains near my grandparents’s village. And the cold, still sensed underneath layered clothes, becomes appreciated. Somehow we come to cherish the glacial temperature that some despise. Breathing fresh air is definitely one of the purest of activities — and yet, in our polluted world it seems to have become such a rare activity. We should treasure it. Plus, we should take action to preserve our wonderful nature.
Some people say that they have a safe haven where they hide out whenever they feel distressed or uncomfortable (or is it just in movies?!), and if I weren’t living in a city that’s probably where I would escape, somewhere in the woods. Because I believe there is no place more quiet, soothing and harmonious than nature. Somewhere almost everything feels right.
As Anne Frank wrote in her Diary:
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.”