At the school I get to call my own for the next few months, there is a forest in its back yard. A real life, bird chirping, beast lurking rainforest. A few steps down the stairs of the central library is a passageway into greenery — and all of the students here walk by, unmesmerized, occupied in their own business. I for one linger and stare at nature’s creation up close and personal, and feel humbled by the weight of the trees that stood above me.
The nature in Singapore is not limited to the periphery of urban infrastructure. Instead, it coexists with everyday life. There are plants that fill the crevices of walkways, subway stations, office buildings, and tropical forests conserved in the form of botanic gardens for the average metropolitan adult to find peace throughout their busy day.
The impact of coexisting with nature was stronger than I had imagined. The olfactory influence was the largest — everywhere I walked I was greeted with the smell of fresh grass and musky flowers, and after hours of sitting in class, I stepped out to the open, humid air that shot oxygen through my bloodstreams.
I made it a habit to visit the botanic gardens, to exercise, socialize, and to build a routine. Walking through the forest and seeing the individuals interact with the nature around them was fascinating, and again, humbling. The sheer size of the Banyan tree loomed with such strength and gravity that just the sight of the branches that stretched over me made me feel incredibly grounded in the real world.