Summer of 2017
Imagine a world where there are beautiful trees, sounds of leaves falling, birds chirping, and laughter amongst friends. This may sound amazing to you, but these sorts of scenarios are happening less and less. The reason for this is because people don’t preserve nature; they don’t think about how destroying an environment may hurt the Earth as a whole. It is very important that we protect our natural environments, so that later generations could have something beautiful to look at and to have a healthier life. I say “healthier life” because nature provides us with clean air and water, which are only a couple of examples. There was a time where I was around nature all the time along with my friends and it honestly was one of the best summers I have had in my life. Today I want to describe my experiences with nature and why we all should be a little better at preserving it.
It was the summer before my senior year of high school, and my best friend (at the time) and I just wanted to have the best summer. We had to make the most of this summer because we both knew that after high school that we would have a lot more responsibility as young adults. My friend and I have known each other since fifth grade and we did everything together, but we knew that we couldn’t just be the two of us doing fun things, so we decided to bring in a couple of other people to join us on our adventures. These two other people went to my school (my friend went to a different high school) and they were two other girls. There was one girl that my friend and I knew back from middle school and the other girl was her friend (this girl was new to Georgia). All four of us never knew what would come from this group friendship, but it would be one of my greatest experiences with people ever.
As a group of four friends, we would do the normal things that anybody would do like go out to eat, hangout at each other’s houses, and more, but we would all have the most fun when we would go out and explore the where we lived which was Kennesaw/Acworth, Georgia. One of the first adventures that I remember going on was hiking Kennesaw Mountain. The hike up the mountain is a little difficult if you are out of shape (which I was), but once you reached the top, you get to see an amazing skyline of the city of Atlanta. Even the walk up the mountain is beautiful because you are surrounded by nature and the sounds it makes. The best part of it is that I was with my best friends just talking and laughing. I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like if that environment around Kennesaw would die out. Another adventure we went on is one of my favorites to talk about; it was the time we went cliff jumping. Where we lived, you could drive about fifteen to twenty minutes and get to Lake Allatoona which is a very popular spot for boats and in our case cliff jumping. There was a spot that one of the girls knew about where the water was deep enough and to where we could hike to it (this was not an official site to go cliff jumping…so don’t try this at home kids). We park our car on the side of the road and head into the woods, which was a bit sketchy looking back on it, but I did it anyways. Then we started the five to ten-minute walk from the side of the road to the cliff we were going to jump off from. It was an amazing day where the sky was blue, there weren’t many clouds, but the temperature was very hot at the time (it was the middle of June in Georgia, so our summers get hot), so it was perfect to get into the water. Again, the walk through the woods was magical; looking at the scenery and just listening to the sounds of birds, leaves crunching as we stepped, and the sound of our laughter. Once we got to the peak of the cliff, it was time for one of us to take the potentially dangerous jump. I remember this day like it was yesterday; it took about twenty minutes before anyone leaped over and landed in the water. The first person to go was my best friend and he landed safely into the water, which gave me the confidence to do it next. I can remember literally feeling every heartbeat throughout my whole body, but it was the most intense thing I have done. There was an amazing rush of energy after hitting the water safely and meanwhile there are boats zooming by in the distance, enjoying the beautiful weather. To get back up the cliff, there was an old rope tied to a tree (so people have been doing this for a long time) and we had to scale back up the mountain without slipping. I get back up the cliff and breathe in the fresh air and stare at the boats driving by and realized in that moment that nature is the most beautiful thing that our planet has to offer. I was experiencing all of this with my very good friends too, so doing all these dangerous things was worth it.
Remember what I said at the beginning? Now imagine not having any of those things like beautiful trees and chirping birds. Both of these aspects of nature and more, will be gone if we don’t do anything about it. Preserving nature not only protects us, but also brings us together as people. In both the experiences I shared, I always mentioned that I was with my best friends and how much more fun we had doing things in nature. Being with people who you enjoy spending time with, enhances the experiences within nature in my opinion, but some people aren’t like that and that’s okay. I am just lucky I got to experience these and more with these people and I hope you get to experience things like this yourselves.