At the risk of sounding like other essays, I think one of my favorite sounds is the ocean and I just really feel at peace down at the beach. I’m thankful to live in Western Washington where there are plenty of, albeit rocky, beaches. During covid I was able to go down to beaches whenever I wanted to and hearing the sound of the waves crashing against the shore quickly became one of my favorite and most comforting sounds. However my favorite place in the whole world is on the Washington Coast, away from everything and just on the beach.
When I was younger, when my family first took us to the coast I noticed how much different, and less affected by human activity the coast was. I noticed how the air was much fresher than back home, how everything seemed quieter, and how there was so much untouched land. Even though the place that we visited had human activity, it still felt like it was in its own corner of the world, untouched by the major effects of human intervention. Personally, I don’t think that part of the Washington Coast will ever get as developed as say Seattle, but I do think that there will be more development to come in the future. And as more development happens not just on the Washington coast or the Oregon coast but the whole world, I feel like there will be a lack of that serene and calmness of being in nature.
I think that the anthropocene really defines how much humans have changed the planet and I think that the largest piece of anecdotal evidence is the loss of the ability to feel lost in nature. Don’t get me wrong, there are still tons of places to get lost in nature, but it is undeniable that as human activity has increased, the amount of land that could provide this sort of feeling has diminished. And while there are many disastrous effects of climate change, I think that losing the calming sense of just being out in nature will be a less noticeable, but still sad loss at the hands of human overdevelopment.