It offers us a protective layer that guards us against all kinds of damages and harms; it provides us everything we need to live. We are not capable of surviving without nature, no matter what we do to try to change that fact.
I have experienced numerous moments when I appreciated Mother Nature, which were made possible by the company of my community. My community is an international scouts association, which leads youth to discover nature and to learn to construct a better place based on its laws and scouts promises. The time I most understood the huge value and the essence of this magnificent creation was when I visited the waterfalls of Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. We took this trip together to explore and learn more about the falls while being with other members of the community from other countries.
Before the start of the tour, we entered the park on a bus, far from the town, and the guide told us we were going to walk on the path to get to the falls. At that moment, I did not know how it was going to be! But I was more than excited, so I thought I would not feel exhausted at all. As I passed through the landscape, there were trees and plants everywhere I looked; it really made me feel like I was in a jungle, with all those plants and all that greenery. Nature totally surrounded the area. The left sections of the rocks were covered with vines, and under the path there were big trees and small waterfalls until we reached the main attraction: the waterfalls of Iguaçu.
When I finally got to the big landscape, I was stunned by the fresh smell. It was definitely worth the entire hard, long hike. We could clearly see its wide stretch of 1.7 miles and 200 feet, which makes the Iguaçu Falls taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide, or at least that was what the guide told us. We got to the end of the path, which was a platform that goes near the falls, close enough to make us feel fresh and feel the water splash near us. I was too amazed by the view; I could see birds flying around the area, as the water hit the rocks and dropped to the other side. You could see the falls in every direction. It looked as beautiful as those postcards you see at a store. But this was real life.
While touring this magical, unique place, I realized how many miracles nature does for us and how we do not appreciate it enough. This moment was a great example of what nature can do: all these happy, smiling people enjoying the great panorama, chatting, and appreciating the moment.
So, with all that in view, the experience at Iguaçu made me feel calm, comfortable, connected, and incredibly happy. It was so different from my usual environment. The falls felt fresh, like clean air, and relaxing. Meanwhile, my city is loud and overwhelming. All those factors made me think and question myself. If we love nature so much, why don't we take good care of it? As I thought deeper, with the help of my community, I understood everything better. Nature is an important and integral part of us, humankind. It is one of the greatest blessings of human life. However, these days, humans fail to recognize it as one. Nature has been an inspiration for numerous poets, writers, and artists. We like when we have everything put together for us, we like when it's clean, pure, and ready for us to enjoy. We just don't take the initiative to make a better place for Mother Nature.
Since that experience, I told all my friends about it and began re-thinking my actions and trying to do better for nature, so my community can have a place where they can feel what I felt at the falls. I’ve been doing simple things like promoting recycling and helping with the cleaning of our areas. My community helped me be a better person by showing me the right ways to fulfill a healthier lifestyle by being kind to nature. I want to spread this idea to others by being involved and participating in talks about nature, to know how we can preserve it better and make other average people more interested in the idea.
What I learned from this magical experience is that nature is important for every single living creature. In order to conserve nature, we must take drastic steps right away to prevent any further damage. Nature is what makes us feel alive, and it is our duty to conserve it. We must stop selfish activities such as cutting trees down without planting more, burning garbage, overusing plastic materials, and throwing trash everywhere, especially in preserved nature areas.
Let's be better human beings and start doing what's right and best for our planet, because nature is what future generations will be holding onto forever.
Let’s try our best to preserve the natural resources before it is too late, so life can forever be nourished on earth. Let’s keep cherishing what remains of the earth.
Jazmín Montiel is a 15-year-old from Coronel Oviedo, Paraguay. She enjoys writing and scouting.
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