Years ago, we put walls around us to protect us from dangerous creatures. The structure got covered with a roof to shelter us from the rain and an abundance of sunshine. Curtains came down hanging from the ceiling to make sure the light doesn’t interrupt our constructed sleeping routine. Electricity was invented to make us even more productive. We stopped using the sun as a way to tell time.
We got healthier lifestyles and decided to insulate our houses until we needed ventilators to still be able to breathe. Any unpleasant odor is eliminated with artificial aroma’s that are supposed to remind us of nature: patchouli, rosemary, sandalwood. I don’t even know what patchouli looks like.
Our apartments are equipped with devices that tell us not only the room temperature but also the level of oxygen. We think of it as practical yet random information, but we need it to guarantee our safety in between those thick walls.
When we open the window to let fresh air inside, we cover the frame with fly screens. If any fly or mosquito manages to crawl inside we try to catch it with sticky or smelly traps. Preferably, a Dyson ad convinces you to order an air purifier, keeping the windows closed and let the device do the job.
Every room also contains at least one big-leaved plant, picked from a list of plants recommended by NASA based on their Clean Air Study. Bathrooms get special plants that thrive in humid places. We bring green inside because we don’t have enough time to get our portion of nature outside. But if you overdo it with the plants, we’ll probably think you should spend more time outdoors.
We complain about spending too much time inside. We dream of owning a garden and going back to basics but we don’t know where to start. Or whether we can manage. Can we ever live without the comfort of our perfectly constructed little palace?