Walking through Pinehurst Arboretum has always felt special. Every season comes with change and everything feels unique each time. You never know what you will experience. Yet the feeling of the Arboretum, while I took a closer look, has been divided into two, being a part and feeling apart.
I’ll tell you a story. Pinehurst Arboretum was once a landfill, filled to the brim with plates, glass ware, pottery as well as more assortments of discarded items lost in time and dirt. Yet these items have become a part of the Arboretum. They make up land while stacked between dirt, mud and sand. They are essential to the structure of the creek as much of the items have fallen into the water and in a way become stones. While they hold the integral structure of the creek, compacted with the dirt, they haven’t changed in any way. And while they are a part they also feel apart. All the pottery and glass have been in the Arboretum for decades but they stand out on their own. Apart is what they feel like when they are separated from the earth, from the nature they have been in. When this happens items are not really a part of a whole. But with them crushed into earth they are a part, they feel a part. And that is what matters.
When I went to Pinehurst Arboretum I felt the same as the plates, pottery and glass. I felt a part of the land and yet I was not, instead I was apart. I was there in Pinehurst Arboretum, I was a part of the whole natural experience but I was only viewing it from the outside in. How can I become one with nature if I am always an outsider? How can I be a part while feeling apart?
Nature is supposed to be immersive. After all humans once came from nature, we used to live with the land, used to be one with nature. But now we have domesticated ourselves. We no longer rely on nature, so we feel apart.
Pinehurst Arboretum is nature where I am immersing myself in for the upcoming weeks. While I may not feel a part of nature now, I hope to feel a part of nature in the end. To feel close to the earth that gives humans life. To feel like I belong in the space and am not just an outsider or an invader. Immersion in nature is essential to our livelihood, yet humans have moved so far away from natural thinking and feeling. We forget our past connections to nature and what nature has done for us.
With this feeling of being apart I want to feel as if I am a part of Pinehurst Arboretum as a whole. If I can become a part of Pinehurst Arboretum, then I will have truly connected with the natural space that was given to me, that surrounds me. Helping me to see what nature is fully capable of and the true beauty of nature will be Pinehurst Arboretum.