Miss Sullivan taught Helen about nature. Helen learned how the sun and rain helped trees grow. She also learned how animals found food and shelter. Helen described her early lessons with her teacher in her autobiography, writing,
Long before I learned to do a sum in arithmetic or describe the shape of the earth, Miss Sullivan had taught me to find beauty in the fragrant woods, in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister's hand (The Story of My Life, Chapter V).
Helen had always enjoyed being out in nature. Before Miss Sullivan arrived, Helen found peace in the garden near her house. She learned to appreciate the flowers, trees, vines, and shrubs using her senses of touch and smell.
One day, Helen had an experience that taught her how nature was not always a thing of joy. She experienced a fierce side of nature. Helen sat alone in the shade of a tree, perched on a branch. Helen felt the air suddenly turn cool, and "a shiver ran through the tree" (Chapter V). Helen clung to the tree as the branches and leaves blew in the wind. She realized that nature's fury was to be feared.