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It's Really Okay to Use an Umbrella

Elizabeth's picture

When we took our geological tour of Bryn Mawr on Thursday, we learned a lot about rocks. Like our trip to Harriton House, we also learned about how humans manipulate their surroundings. I have, in my past observations of my on-campus site, been very tentative about harming that environment. I hesitate before I bounce a little on the branches that I sit on and tentatively brush the vine-like branches aside when I walk to the tree trunk. I try not to impose myself upon the tree.

But, today, I did something that I’ve never done before while sitting under my tree. I used an umbrella. Harriton House leases apartments to sustain itself and Bryn Mawr College diverts runoff for the township to compensate for its own. Today, I, too, added a man-made object into the equation to make myself more comfortable. As much as I like to think that the willow I observe protects me, it still manages to let a not insignificant amount of rain through. So, despite planning on letting the rain drops fall down peacefully on me, I opened my umbrella back up.

I didn’t harm the tree. I might have hurt my chances of observing nature a bit, but I also improved my overall experience. Because I used the umbrella, I don’t resent the tree for not protecting me. And the tree doesn’t resent me. Sometimes, it’s okay to supplement nature a little bit to make ourselves more comfortable. It’s really alright.