For me, falling in love with Nature and the study of the environment was gradual, unexpected, and irrevocable. Our story was the realization of having been in love with an old friend all along, and suddenly, upon revelation, everything else falling into place. My Aha moment came at a seemingly insignificant time; although, upon retrospect, there were admittedly a number of signs prior. It was in my final year in High School as I was sitting in my German class, just like any other day. I often looked out the window at the Ginko tree next to the building, and the grassy field around it, which has since been replaced by a new building to accommodate the ever increasing numbers of new students. My mind was wandering outdoors, where I could…show more content… This particular field lies directly beside a tiny cabin my Grandfather owned in the mountains in Glarnerland, Switzerland. My family hiked there perhaps once every two years, but I always somewhat resented the trip. I associated it with fatigue and soreness, with uncomfortable hiking boots, oily and pungent sunscreens and bug sprays, heavy backpacks and sweat. Especially this cabin where my entire family would share the small attic space to sleep in, the running water was simply an icy mountain spring, and the toilet consisted of a wooden plank with a hole cut out in the middle. These were not luxury accommodations, and for some inexplicable reason my memories had always highlighted the aspects of the trip which I wasn’t overly fond of.
Now my brain reminded me of every part of it which I loved. The sunlight dancing through the trees, the unbelievable starry night skies, the sweet smell of the wildflowers in summer, the trickling of the stream which ran nearby, the earthy smell of the woods where we would hop from tree to tree looking for Chanterelle mushrooms. All these moments and images of an almost untouched paradise in my memories nearly brought me to tears that day. I felt physically pained as I craved the opportunity to go back there. And then I was pulled back to reality by Frau Helbing’s voice once again. Class was over, on to next period, Advanced Placement Environmental Science in