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Happiness in a Green World

Susan Anderson's picture

Here is my ranking, from happiest place to unhappiest place:
1. Morris Woods
2. Dalton Staircase
3. Park Science Lab
4. English House
5. Parking Lot

I absolutely loved the Morris Woods.  Once I found my way into the woods, I felt like it was a great, peaceful place.  I felt that the plants surrounding me provided this calm, protective bubble from rain and the sometimes pervasive noises of humanity.  I felt like I had to keep going down the path to discover what was at the end of it, which I am glad that I did because I thought the graveyard and the bench were really cool spots to explore.  Plants would be happiest here because their growth is unrestricted by humans and because their basic survival needs are most available there.

I felt good in the Dalton Staircase.  There was a lot of sunlight streaming into it and there was a feeling of clarity and openness that I liked.  Plants would be maybe second happiest here because of the sunlight pouring through the glass, even if they would be confined to a pot.

The Park Science Lab felt neutral.  It was nice to have the air conditioning, and the seats were comfortable, but the smell of a chemical that hung in the air and the confusing route to the room were not so great.  It was just a normal science room to me; somewhere where I would take a required science class.  It was not horrible, but I would rather pass it by for a more invigorating place to sit.  I would think this would rank fourth amongst the plants.  There was not that much natural light and it felt too artificial to sustain the delicate life of a plant.

I expected to like the English house better than I did.  From the outside it looked like a cozy yet academic place to be.  However, once I got inside I felt a little uncomfortable.  I guess it was mostly the contrast between the squeaky wooden floors and the pressing silence that made me feel out of place.  This place would probably be the third happiest for plants because there seem to be plenty of inviting windows, even if the plants would be inside.

The only place I did not like was the parking lot.  While passing by it for class feels fine, going through it does not.  It is a place built for efficiency.  It is expected that no one takes up too much time or space in this area.  There is no room for dawdling.   Between the fumes, the cement, and the constant bombardment of people and machines passing through I do not think the plants would like it much either.

Humans and plants share the need for sunlight, water, and space to live in.  In that way we are similar and can find some environments in which to coexist.  However, humans also need places to move around in.  Therefore, even in Morris Woods, there are separate places for humans and plants.  Plants need to root themselves in places of sunlight, while humans need to find fulfillment by going places and doing things.  While humans can appreciate plants, they cannot venture too near for the fear of trampling their tranquility.