by Kat Holleran

Pavel Cenkl visited HB a few months ago to tell us about his experience running across Iceland. The focus of his talk was the connection his run created between him and nature. After Pavel finished speaking to us, we had a student panel to discuss how HB students can create relationships with nature through being outdoors, and how HB plays a role in establishing or deterring from these relationships. After the assembly, we asked you all to reflect anonymously on some questions on notecards. Some of the things you said are:

“When we hear about the environment being ruined we see ourselves as more powerful than it, which isn’t the case.”

“My relationship with the natural world is rooted in this idea of appreciation and love. The natural world is full of energy and being in nature you receive that energy.”

“HB weakens my relationship with the natural world because I’m always inside doing my homework instead of outside in nature.”

“I ❤ trees”

“[There is] this whole concept of “just one won’t hurt”, but millions of people are thinking [that]. A million WILL hurt.”

“I find myself spending most of my time during the week inside and disconnected from the natural world… I wish we had time during the school day to go outside.”

“I am confined in a world of worry. The most important things are grades, college, and the future. This blinds me from issues that may be more pressing than my own, and HB narrows my perspective in this way.”

“Nature is the first and most accidentally beautiful form of art. It is a resource but also a defining aspect of humanity.”

“There is no point in saving nature if the human race destroys itself first.”

“I usually workout indoors even if I’m running. However, last week my dad went out of town, and it was my job to walk the dog. During these walks, I was able to experience nature. I paid attention to sounds and smells like I never had before and felt my senses heighten.” 

“[The Earth] is not just a resource.” 

“I feel disillusioned when I talk about climate change because I don’t know how to help.”

“Today’s conversation about climate change made me think about how with no world there would be no humans, but with no humans there would still be a world. We are inferior to the environment.”

“Allowing yourself to be vulnerable to something is truly humbling. It makes you realize not only how insignificant you actually are, but also how dependent you are on the false security that is civilization.”

“Today’s conversation made me realize that to truly develop a desire to make a change in nature, one has to understand the beauty of it first.”

“I have a date with nature every run I go [on]. Super up close and personal.”

“In a way, we owe our lives to nature, so we need to take the time and appreciate it. If we are vulnerable, we are forced to recognize that greater power and, in a way, submit to it.”

As you can see, the responses to the assembly are widespread and insightful. Let us continue to shows the Sustainability Department that we are listening, talking, and concerned about the state of the natural environment.