Updated: Aug 15, 2021
Living in a city can easily remove a person from nature, but just because you are removed from nature doesn't mean that you are removed from natures beauty. It may be harder to see it within city limits doesn't mean that it isn't there. In my final semester of school we discussed what the word "nature" really means. Is there a difference between nature and the natural?
When you go beyond the city limits the natural world has a rugged, untamed look to it. The grass grows at different lengths, the trees have branches going every-which-way, and there are certainly no straight lines. The natural world isn't perfect and, to city dwellers, it is hard to find beauty in things that aren't perfect. It takes training, and time, and effort to see it. When you drive through a city, nature is groomed and presented for you. There are straight lines and long grass is virtually non-existent. Cities do this to urbanize and tame the wildness of nature. It creates another landscape for people to find beautiful. Since over half of the world lives in urban areas the groomed look has become the socially-acceptable beauty that nature has to offer.
Have you ever noticed that city-people generally don't like to venture out into the natural world? I think it may have something to do with control. Being in control makes people feel good, so they prefer controlled nature to the uncontrolled natural landscape. Society likes to control beauty in regards to the human body so why would it be different with nature? It isn't any different. Society feels safe when they can control things.
But wait, you say! There are people who find the natural world beautiful too! City-people like pictures and paintings of natural landscapes. Society doesn't only like the urban landscapes!
I hear you! It's true. Society can accept both but there is still a difference. Those people like the idea of the natural world more than the physical landscape. They are just content with looking at it, but, personally, the people who interact with beautiful things appreciate it more. There are far fewer people who will go out and interact with the natural landscape. To appreciate nature to the fullest extent you have to love the fine details just as much as the whole zoomed-out picture.
Appreciating the grasshoppers and the ants is way harder than appreciating the rushing river and the rolling hills. The small parts of nature are usually forgotten about but they are just as beautiful as the rest of it.
Part of the beauty of the natural is the intricacy of it. Beauty isn't just visual. It can also be the way the bees pollinate the flowers. Or the way the birds keep insects under control. The web of life is so intricate and delicate and this alone can also be beautiful. This is how you can learn to find beauty in the grasshoppers and ants. Watching and understanding the way the biosphere operates is just as beautiful as the visual picture. However, I find that once you understand the fine inner-workings of something the zoomed-out frame is exponentially more beautiful.