What I think of when I think of nature

water and wind, my two favorite aspects of nature — love the picture the prof. put up, btw. — my ideal day: cloudy, about 55 degrees, windy to the point of feeling just slightly lighter on my feet from the lift, and occasional whips of drizzle. to be near the water, like on a pier, and watch waves crashing, and being splashed by brackish or salty spray, even better. and then just to stand there and withstand the pounding, ears full of wind roar, mouth full of salt and/or fresh water, hair whiplashing around, just being buffeted. dramatic turneresque sky, clouds sweeping across with occasional rays shooting through (even though i don’t believe in god, i always say that that’s god peeking through the clouds). that’s my ideal day. favorite month, october, the one in which the aforementioned scenario is most likely to be realized.

when i was a child of about 6, i lived on the upper west side of manhattan, at the corner of west end avenue and 101st street. in this spot the island has a crest, and if you walk west, toward the hudson, you find yourself on a steep hill going down toward the river. the proximity of the river means that very often there is a powerful wind coming from the river. my sister (then 5) and i would run down the sidewalk in the direction of the river, then we would grab each bottom corner of the hem of our windbreakers and spread our arms. using our jackets as sails, we would jump into the air and the lift from the wind would carry us two or three sidewalk squares further down. we would do this over and over, time and again. it’s one of the happiest memories of my childhood and it is part of what i think of when i think of nature.