Post Alert: Slightly longish post. My love for nature had me pouring out to my heart’s content. But I do promise, that you will not regret reading this piece.
I pen these words sitting in the luxurious lap of nature. We are blessed to be living in a condominium which has sprawling lush lawns surrounded by Frangipani, Gulmohar, Palms, Malti creepers, Hibiscus, Jasmine bushes; and so many others. Every winter the landscape morphs into radiant hues, as the ice flowers, nasturtiums, pansies, gerberas, chrysanthemums burst into a colourful dance. Though the Frangipani has taken a backseat now, sitting silently and reclaiming itself as a bud, as it readies to flower in the upcoming spring.
It’s still very cold here in Gurugram with the mercury dipping to 2 degrees on many nights. Yet the flora continues to stand strong and blossom beautifully, revealing to us that not with standing any circumstances we must continue to smile and strive harder. The days are cold yet bright and sunny. So after a dark, chili, night the sun doesn’t fail to rise upon us each morning, braving the thick cloak of fog. Another beautiful lesson in resilience.
I have lived in the lap of nature for almost 18 years of my life till I moved to metropolises.
We lived in a university campus where we ate nothing but organic produce cultivated in our backyards. We frolicked with butterflies, bumble-bees and dragon flys in our lawns where poppies, nasturtiums, lilies, dog flowers nodded their heads in deep joy. We played to our heart’s content with unbridled abandon surrounded by the rolling verdant land. We knew the joys of climbing the mango trees to pluck raw and sometimes ripe juicy mangoes, that we would squeeze into our mouths as the juices would dribble down our chins and hands. Our mothers made Guava jam from the freshly plucked, fragrant guavas from our kitchen garden. Ketchup was prepared straight from the fresh produce of tomatoes. And we played hide and seek in the paddy and wheat fields while sucking on newly formed kernels. Creeping into the sugarcane fields and stealing sugarcanes while the chowkidaar wouldn’t be around, gave us thrills. So much to be thankful for, cradled in the arms of Mother nature.
Being bitten by the golden-yellow wasps was a ritual none of us could escape. It took a while to pull the sting out and rub the affected area with iron to ease the pain. What followed was a painful, swollen bump and itching body part, that subsided, but the pain remained etched in our memories. Right next to our campus was the forest of Uttarakhand. We went for many a nature walks and picnics, looking out for the creatures of the wild. Jackals roamed freely and howled in the nights within the university locales and it wasn’t surprising when we would once in a blue moon hear the Tiger roar. There was a boa constrictor that had swallowed almost an entire deer but had died because its horns had thrust into his belly. It lay preserved in the Zoology lab of the campus. Once my mother found a King Cobra in her wardrobe!!!
Many such stories of adventure and fun, as we regaled and made merry with nature, have been the prominent highlight of my life. They will always remain engraved in my heart and locked in the treasure trove of my memories.
Today I live in a city, yet feel an immense sense of gratitude to be living in a locality which has an opulent cover of green. Mynahs, humming birds, sparrows, Bulbuls, Warblers, Peacocks, Wagtails and even a lone kingfisher can be spotted here. We sometimes wake up to the loud call of the peacocks. And yes, Pigeons have over-populated the city high risers, and despite being a nuisance to our terrace flora of vegetables and seedlings, and dirtying the balconies with their excreta; it’s still a happy feeling to see them lay an egg or two that hatch to scrawny little baby fledglings.
These have been my one on one experiences with nature and as a kid, I always dreamt of living by the sea or the forest and work with animals. Well, my interest in Science waned way too fast (Thanks to Chemistry and Physics), so did not end up taking the Forest Services exam. I still think of the shows on Discovery, National Geographic and Animal Planet and I when I read stories of people like Jane Goodall who works with Chimpanzees or the Lion Man, Kevin Richardson; I aspire to go and do my wee bit too.
Now, to the 7 things about Nature that makes me Thankful
(Scroll down Please)
- Nature has taught me resilience and perseverance. Despite the harshest of climates all beings of nature stand strong, withstanding the cold, the storm, the rain. Yes some of them do crumble, like the way we do at times. But the incredible thing is that even a tree that has been uprooted in the storm grows back into another tree slowly but surely, if some of the roots remain. Ralph Waldo Emerson rightly said, “Adopt the pace of nature, the secret is patience.”
- Winter always turns into Spring: Yes, it does. These beautiful lines from Nichiren Daishonin are so motivating for me. Have we heard of Winter turning to Autumn? No, right. Spring does arrive with all its glory, despite a cold, harsh, snowed out winter and the trees blossom and the cold recedes. Similarly, we must remember even though we might be in the midst of a harsh winter in life, there is no doubt that we will usher in the spring of life underscored by victory. Things will get better and brighter. So we must never give up hope.
- The sun has taught me to keep shining my light, every single day: Just like the sun that rises each morning without fail, I believe we must start our day afresh with renewed promises and new beginnings, and to make the best of what comes our way. Just like the sun, that gets blurred by the clouds or the fog during the course of the day, we must strive to shine back with renewed commitment, despite the darkness that might come our way, ever single day, unfailingly.
- Grounding: Each time my energies are out of sync or balance, I go and walk barefoot in the grass. It’s the best way to ground oneself and be one with mother nature. I imagine roots growing out of my feet and establishing them in the soil beneath me. The moment I do that, I become not just one with nature, but also myself. A sense of calm envelopes me in no time.
- Silence, Calm, and Peace: Nature has taught me the beauty of experiencing bliss, calm and peace. I wish I was a mermaid who lived by the sea and by the laws of the sea. A mermaid who swam in the sometimes tranquil waters, and sometimes turbulent waters, yet continued to flow with the process of life. On my scuba diving expeditions, I have experienced so much serenity and silence being one with the creatures of the sea.
- To Never Give Up: “There is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away. ” – Sarah Kay I love the sea and can spend hours sitting by the shore watching the waves crash by, back and forth. I have spent many holidays meditating or running barefoot by the sea. And the mammoth sea, despite its enormity has such a wondrous calming effect on my mind and soul. The waves teach me to keep trying and trying, come what may.
- Care, Nurture & Co-Exist: Nature teaches me to care and nurture not just myself, but every single person that I come in contact with. Birds, bees, animals all fiercely guard and protect themselves and their loved ones. Nature has also taught me to take care of myself because without that I won’t be in a position to take care of others. Nature has imparted the lesson of co-existing with each person, despite our differences. A cherry tree only blooms cherry blossoms, a peach tree peach flowers, similarly all of us human beings are dramatically different yet it’s essential to celebrate our differences, accept each other for who we are and live with love and acceptance. Just like these trees.
Such are the magical lessons that nature mystically and joyously imparts upon us.
Being one with nature I am able to free my soul and live life through my inner child.