The Woods and Me by Maddy McColgan
Updated: Dec 28, 2021
All I knew growing up was woods, I was constantly surrounded and consumed by it. The scar on my left hand--the woods, the scrap on my right knee that won’t go away-- the woods. It was my life. I would fall asleep looking at the trees and they would become characters in my head and act out stories that I had dreamt of the night before. My favorite place when I was little was up in a tree, high away from the world, up with the birds. I would wander into it, soaking in creating a whole new world, surrounded by these living things. This was a luxury I didn’t realize I had, I was surrounded by the lakes and mountains and animals, blissfully unaware that not everyone got this. This slowly became an important part of my life, whether I realized it or not, I began to crave it when I needed an escape. I can no longer imagine how people survive without being close to them, and it blows my mind that we as humans have control over our planet and what happens to it and we still make the active choice to slowly destroy it. You make that choice to throw your bottle out of the car window, you make that choice to not look for a recycling bin when throwing away your yogurt container, you make the choice to not pick up that trash on the sidewalk,you make the choices.You have the power to change the world even if that means just altering it a little bit, but that is quite literally in your hand. Seize that opportunity and do something about it.
I choose to write about my experience with nature and how it influenced me growing up as well how it affects me now. I grew up in New Hampshire where I spent a lot of time outdoors and that was a big part of my childhood. I really wanted people to reflect on their experiences with nature when they read this piece, as well as get inspired to try and make a change regarding our environment.