Tasting the fruits of Orange County, California: coming into contact and connection with the natural world in a place I least expected.

It began with a feeling of melancholy for the wilderness I'd left behind in Northern California, a wilderness of open spaces, raging rivers, bubbling creeks, and wild flowers. This hunger for the natural lead to the rise of a desire to connect to the place that I am in now, a place where I least expected to feel the embrace of mother nature, in the suburbs of Orange County, California.

When I take time time to take notice, I see that the neighborhood streets are lined with trees, plants, and flowers living in harmony with one another, planted with care, patience, and an inherent desire for the natural. The streets are alive with the breath of life, their inhabitants singing joyous tunes heard over the faint hum of cars buzzing and humming in the distance. Musical melodies announcing the birth of blooms and new life, awaken my senses to the scents of Spring. I dizzy in the intoxicating perfumes of jasmine, honeysuckle, and rose buds. The sounds of paradise reverberate through the song of the wild parrots, as I step out into the tamed wilderness and meander through the streets in awe and reverence. With awareness, we can open ourselves to a connection with nature even in the most populated of places, and in fact we will find that it nourishes our souls and reminds us of our connection to the greater natural world. All we have to do is take the time to take notice and appreciate the life even amidst the concrete jungles we may find ourselves in.