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Ayomipo Adeojo

RENEW 2023 Essay Contest

7 May 2023

The Seed of A Passion Fruit

My mom suggested my brother and I go for a walk one afternoon. She claimed it was a beautiful day outside, with the sunshine enveloping houses and trees that went by. Trying to list every possible excuse in the book to prevent me from going outside, I begged her to let me stay in. She said I always had the habit of locking myself in my room every opportunity I got, like I’m perpetually in this metal ball that keeps me isolated and detached from the beauteous world beyond my private hollow. However, my mom was able to maneuver her way in and forced me to at least have some sense of gratitude for the world I was apparently missing out on. I sluggishly put on my sneakers and a jacket, as it was a little chilly outside, and walked out the front door with my little brother.

“Chilly” was an understatement of what I felt when the first gust of breeze hit me with a massive force. I didn’t want to be out there. I didn’t like the cold. In fact, I despised it, and my mother knew.

“Hurry up, you’re slowing me down!” my brother yelled in front of me while I trailed behind him, dragging my feet.

I didn’t bother answering, because my patience was running low. The cold didn’t do it any justice either. My brows were furrowed fifteen minutes in, with a frown plastered across my face. But what I didn’t realize was the shift of posture I had; I walked out my front door with feelings of anger and frustration and dissatisfaction weighing on my shoulders, but this onerous luggage felt like it was being blown off me. It was the wind. The cold wind might’ve been the root of my impatience, but it was also the root of my newfound relaxation. I’ve never felt this way before, not even in my metal ball. I gradually let the breeze bring my attention to the blooming flowers of spring, whose petals and leaves gently and delicately moved side to side in unison as mother nature kissed them with her cold breath. The flowers were like a rainbow, all possessing different colors, everywhere, distributed evenly on the earthy ground. I watched as the breeze did twists and turns in the air like it was trying to show off its talent. It slipped through the ever-so-green trees, whose sundry leaves waved at me from their branches. The sun’s glistening rays peaked through the branches, stripes of golden light making gracefully irregular patterns on the ground. The clouds were white and decorated the blue skies with imaginary images. The breeze showed me the worms that wiggled their way out of the brown soil to find food and the bees that were covered in a layer of pollen as they gracefully flew from flower to flower. It felt like my eyes were finally free from the mask of ignorance that covered them, which prevented me from seeing the raw, innocent beauty of nature. Mother Nature revealed to me the butterflies and daffodils, even the weeds as well; I could see this new found grace in everything. She woke me up from my deep slumber and told me, “Wake up, child, and see the beauty of the earth that I created.” It was like we were connected. She planted in my heart a seed, a seed of inspiration and passion. I knew what I had to do with this seed, and she did too; I had to nurture it and help it blossom into a tree, a tree whose roots lead other people to develop this burning flame of passion as well. Nature is something that lasts forever but can easily be destroyed by the actions of people who don’t have this flame. This is why I see nature as a valuable and precious thing. I feel like it’s my duty to protect it; perhaps Mother Nature has endowed me with it herself.

I awakened from my vision and looked around once more to see that we were already back home.

“Well, you see? How was the walk? Amazing, right?” My mom asked, with that annoying smirk on her, because she knew I liked it.

“It was…good,” I simply stated, not wanting to give her the satisfaction.

I walked up to my room, and was about to turn on my phone, before I realized that I wouldn’t have felt this way about nature if it wasn’t for my mom consistently insisting that I go outside. I smiled, satisfied I found a new passion. Mother knows best.

My belief and understanding of nature changed on that spring afternoon. I knew I had to plant the seed mother nature planted in me in other people. I knew I had to make her proud, but how would I do so? Well, I thought to myself, the people in my inner circle, my family members and closet friends. What don’t they do to maintain the beauty of nature? Do they see nature as I do? Do they acknowledge that nature isn’t just a home for animals, but a home for everyone, in whom its destruction can impact?

Growing up, I witnessed family members hurting this home by throwing junk out the car, while driving, or littering, while using the excuse that there weren’t any trash cans nearby. They, including myself at the time, never realized the severity of these actions. I would see piles of plastic and trash on the sidewalks and even near the roads. I would see a number of plastic straws on the grass, not understanding that the people I knew the most contributed to this. I would also see advertisements of organizations promoting recycling and trash pick-ups and metal straws and more, but I would also not recognize their reasons behind this. I never really understood anything, up until the time Mother Nature spoke to me herself through the simplest interaction with nature; going on a walk. I put myself in an open situation where I had the chance to experience this encounter. I kept an open mind that helped me see the harm in doing the things I saw my family doing. I let the simple breeze shift my gaze to everything and anything in my vision, heightening my gratitude for this unbelievable gift that they don’t realize they have. Then I’ll help them see. I’ll help them see that nature is much more than a big trash bin. Humans, including myself sometimes, tend to think about themselves in situations where it comes down to what’s best for all parties in question. However, the irony in this situation is that humans aren’t thinking about themselves at all. If we show no interest in trying to protect and keep our home clean, then it would be a domino effect, with animals being the first victims of climate change, and then us. We all need to put our pride aside and see nature as a place that tolerates us, not the other way around. It’s our place to protect nature and I want to do it, because it protects, nourishes, and shelters me, so the least I could do is do the same.

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