A few months ago, I decided to go on a date…with Nature. People kept on saying we would hit it off. Of course, I had seen Nature around but hadn’t felt the attraction and never really considered getting seriously involved. As a native New York City girl, I’d had more experience with concrete than caterpillars so I was a little nervous about the rendez vous. You see, me and the city, we got along great. It had this energy that could sweep me off my feet in an instant. I always knew where I stood. And if I didn’t, I could just look up at the street signs. Nature, on the other hand, seemed a bit unpredictable and more difficult to read. Plus, from what I had heard, there was a chance for things to get kind of messy. However having recently ended a long term relationship with Manhattan and relocating to Seattle where 87% of the population seemed to be hikers, I realized I needed to get on the proverbial bus.
“Oh, Nature’s great,” said my friend Tyler. “You’re going to have such a good time.” “Don’t be afraid to get dirty”, winked my pal Cindy. Dirty? On the first date? Who did she think I was? I had absolutely no intention of sullying myself for the sake of what others deemed as a dandy time outside. It wasn’t as if I had plans to spend the night with nature any time soon. It was a get-together that was all. Dirty! Really, the idea!
I also had no clue as to what to wear. I wanted to look nice for our first formal meeting, but had been told by another friend that it might be wise to wear something more practical. “No heels?” I winced. According to my friend Suzie who had been out with nature a few times, Nature didn’t take too kindly to pointy slanted footwear and definitely had a preference for the girls sporting sensible shoes and Gortex. She had apparently walked all over nature and everything had been fine, but that’s a different story. Anyway, my red Adidas and a loose fitting pair of jeans would have to suffice. One thing I knew for certain: I was not wearing fleece. I had some apparel standards when it came to potentially intimate encounters, and wearing what can often look like an amorphous baby blanket was out of the question.
So before the date, of course, I went straight to Google, ‘cause I wanted get the dirt on nature. Turns out - You probably know this: A ton of hits. Nature had totally been around. But it was all very positive. So I was feeling a little less skeptical.
I decided I would meet Nature at the arboretum which although near my house, was a place I had never been. That seemed safe. The date could just be a short walk, a stroll, a jaunt - a chance to maybe get more familiar and see if there was any kind of connection. No major commitment. And, if things got awkward, I could quickly dash home, feigning allergies.
The morning of the date. I start having second thots. Of course, it was overcast, and slightly chilly and I start fearing that I was going to wind up cold, and grimy and possibly lost. But I figured, hey, if Nature can handle it, so can I. So I went.
When I arrived, Nature was already there waiting for me. I admit, I was surprised and pleased with how good nature looked - slightly weathered, yes, but nonetheless attractive. I can get turned off by dates who spend excessive amounts of time primping, but Nature just seemed to look great with what appeared to be very little effort - clearly the type that had natural good looks and obviously came from an excellent family tree. I breathed a sigh of relief, smiled and the date began.
At first it was a little awkward. I just felt like Nature was all over the place. And I wasn’t really sure how far I wanted to go. But I thought, let me just let Nature be my guide. I promised myself that I would be open to see what Nature had to offer. SO I just started walking. Nature had made sure that it was a lovely day, which I really appreciated. And the Arboretum actually turned out be a perfect locale. It gave me a sense of what Nature had to offer me: mystery, adventure, interesting smells. I just started taking Nature in. I strolled on the grassy path, admired the verdant trees, cursed the morning glory and gazed at a nearby lake exploding with lily pads, laughing at the fervently paddling ducks navigating paths for their young. I was having a good time. Surprisingly, I didn’t even flinch when Nature brushed up against me and blew gently in my ear. It was all rather romantic. I kept glancing sideways at Nature and thinking, “Could it be possible? Am I actually FEELING something?”
As the day continued, I also noticed that I was beginning to like the smell of nature: crisp and clean with a hint of the unknown. Very different from the other habitats I had dated. And definitely a far cry from the smell of a subway on an August Afternoon. No, this was a scent I could get used to.
I stopped to rest. Looking around for a place to park myself, I entertained the idea of actually sitting on Nature. At this point, it felt appropriate. I had taken to Nature more quickly than I had anticipated and actually welcomed physical contact. As there did not seem to be any objection, I found a comfortable spot and took my seat. Nature felt good. Soft, welcoming, comfortable. I couldn’t believe it. There I was sitting with Nature like an old friend: caressed by the touch of gentle breezes and the occasional lady bug. I didn’t even feel the need to talk. And Nature just let me be who I was without judgment. It was easy just being there together. Before I knew it, I had my hands all over Nature and the city was slowly becoming a distant memory.
By the end of the afternoon, I was definitely interested in getting to know Nature even better. And from what I could judge, I think Nature was pretty into me as well. When I looked down at myself, Nature was all over me. In fact, without my noticing, Nature had even gotten into my pants.
But, it was time to part ways. I needed to get back to my emails and a meeting with my networking group. Nature needed some time to cool off and potentially rain. What I had anticipated as being a clumsy exit turned into a warm hearted departure.
I glanced back as I made my way out of the Arboretum. Nature. Hadn’t. Moved. Clearly I had had an impact. Something was definitely beginning to blossom. I think we’re going to spend a wknd together.