True Nature

Hattie Easton muses on the indomitability of the natural world, no matter how hard we may try to ignore or reject it.


Image: Harriet Easton
Image: Harriet Easton

Nature: the ever consuming fact of life.

No matter what we do, we can’t stop nature. Everywhere we look and everywhere we go we are surrounded by nature, no manmade objects can stop it. From multi-storey shopping centres, to tarmac on the road, nature prevails.

It could be as small and as overlooked as moss in the cracks of the pavement, or as large as an oak tree outside your office window. Nature is everywhere. Even sterile places such as hospitals contain nature in the form of flowers brought in for patients, or the tiny microorganisms on the bottoms of shoes.

However hard we try, we cannot fight it, and I don’t think we should.

I believe we should embrace the outside world. I mean, we already let it in our homes in plant pots and vases, so why should we remove it from other spaces? Stop plowing through woodlands to make a road, if you can go around it. Stop tearing down trees in a neighbourhood just because of the inconvenience leaves may cause. Instead look at the world around you and appreciate how beautiful it is, and how amazing nature is, for surviving so long even with everything we throw at it.

That’s what’s so great about Penryn Campus – nature is encouraged. Yes, it’s also controlled, but better to welcome nature rather than pour cement over everything. There is grass on the roof of the Institute of Photography, and there’s a walled garden at the heart of the campus. And dead nature? That’s welcome too. The dead tree by the Peter Lanyon building, is home to new plant life and growth, and is a great habitat for small insects and fungi.

I’m not saying we should all go back to living in tepees out in the wilderness (although I wouldn’t mind giving that a go), I’m just saying we shouldn’t push nature away or to one side. Nature gives us huge inspiration for thousands of modern day inventions, and we should be more thankful of this, rather than trying to turn our cities and towns into concrete, glass and metal jungles. Appreciate nature and what it has done for us, rather than trying to remove it. You can try all you like, but it will still be there, waiting. Ready to claim the manmade world for itself.

It’s already starting. Look around you. Ivy grows up the walls of your house until it’s unrecognisable. Moss clogs your drainpipes. Leaves block your gutters. Weeds decorate your driveway. Respect nature, appreciate nature, and more importantly, welcome nature.

Or nature will consume.