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S4.5.1 At home in the forest

Carlos looks at his watch. It is 13:47. He should be at school now, but instead he wanders outside along a forest path. Sunbeams shine through the fresh green foliage and draw shadow patterns on the path. Carlos feels his headache slowly subside. He fills his lungs with the fresh forest air and exhales slowly. 

In the silence between the trees, Carlos feels at ease. Much more so than in the city, with its constant clamour of cars, flashing lights and blaring advertisements. The forest also feels more like home than his school, which he sometimes calls 'the learning factory'. He finds his way through the forest effortlessly. Without any signs, but by letting himself be led by what he encounters along the way. He studies the moss, listens to the birds and notices the changes the seasons bring. And when the leaves fall, he sees from the coloured soil which trees and bushes are growing there. 

There is less and less nature to be found in Carlos' hometown. The climbing trees from his youth had to make way for housing. Fortunately, last year the municipality had allowed some verges to naturalise and some flowerbeds to become overgrown. Even though it was a cost saver in maintenance, the insects and birds were happy about it. Carlos, too, thought that this 'greening' was progress, but that was not true for everyone. Several local residents had complained, because after all it was the municipality's job to keep things tidy. By the end of the summer, this new piece of 'wild nature' was gone.

"People know nothing about nature," Carlos grumbles softly to himself. Otherwise they wouldn't just leave their rubbish everywhere. He thinks of the plastic soup, which their geography teacher recently devoted a lesson to. Speaking of geography, it's almost 2 p.m., which means his classmates are about to pack up and go to class. Suddenly it strikes him as strange and ironic to be learning from a book and via a digiboard about the Earth, which obviously is outside of the classroom!