Our roots are in nature, but we’ve largely uprooted ourselves. Urbanization has done wonders for us economically and has helped us learn to accept people from different cultures. We’re more connected than ever before. And in many ways it’s a “kinder, gentler world”, because we’ve become more metropolitan.

But there’s a price to pay for living in urban jungles, sitting in cubicles all day, and spending our time in front of screens. Our lives have become more artificial.

The “real world” isn’t the world we enter after high school or university. The real world is the world human beings lived in before modern times. Nature is the real world. Not that nature, in terms of physical reality, is all there is or all that matters. But that nature (the outdoors) is our natural environment.

Most of us have a relatively comfortable and safe lifestyle in this modern era. Nature reminds us that things used to be very different. Nature can provide a hard dose of reality. Giving us reason to be thankful for the lifestyle we now have, and reminding us that this life is about more than mere comfort and safety.