Nature is Deeply Connected to My Happiness
In 2011 our family were living in a house in the thickest of Saigon, and we were constantly surrounded by people, traffic and urban noises day and night. There was no tree outside our house, just a small alley scattered with dog feces. People had balconies where they kept plants but it was just too hot for us to do so as our balcony did not have covering. In the big street just a few meters away, one of the city’s main street leading to the airport, there was always a sea of motorbikes and buses and cars aggressively traversing and sending out stifling exhaust and honking noises.
We were not living in a peaceful environment and I felt very unhappy. I longed to see nature and to breath the fresh air. I felt crammed in and yearned for the open space. Surrounded by people, I could feel their restlessness and relationship conflicts. I felt that we were supposed to take on people’s angst and problems because of the close proximity of the houses.
In the urban setting, nature became a precious commodity to me, an expensive means to my happiness. Never again did I want to take for granted the trees, the grass, the lakes and the hills. As I desire happiness, I don’t think I belong in Saigon, or any other big city where money and jobs are the main drivers of life.