Nurture with Nature

Sun Flower
When I was a small kid, I was fascinated with mud. It was great to play after the rains in the mud. We made caves and decorated them with sea-shells glass pieces and flowers. It was fun playing in the open, running, screaming, laughing and touching the earth.

One of my loveliest memories of childhood is holding the hand of my grandfather and going for a walk at night. He would tell me stories of his childhood how he would walk through a patch of woods to go to school, how he met a hyena one day and how he climbed a tree to escape. We would come back home and on winter nights, grandmother would have hot chocolate waiting for us. As we drank the delicious chocolate we would smile as our affection spoke silently.

I wanted my daughter to experience the beauty of togetherness with nature. When she was a toddler, we chased butterflies together. When she turned six, we started a nature journal practice. It is lovely to go for walks and collect twigs and leaves. We observe trees, the sky, seasons, animals, insects and birds. We make notes. It is fun to paste these notes, draw, paint and sketch with the date and time.

Last year, we discovered a tiny nest on the top of a tree next to our terrace. In this nest, small babies waited for their mother to come.

A lone woodpecker used to visit a leafless tree near our house. We used to wait for the bird (our Woody) to visit. Every morning we observed Woody religiously visiting the tree.

However, that tree was cut down, and we lost our Woody forever. I could teach an important lesson to my daughter. We need to accept the change as only change is constant. Friends may come and friends may go, but life goes on.

I want my daughter to discover relationships beyond SMS, emails, social media or the Internet. Today an overdose of digital media and 24×7 connectivity is making us isolated ‘islands’ existing in a zone to become a zombie.

I want my daughter to experience the sunrise and sunset, to feel the difference between a breeze and a wind, to sit under the canopy of star and have conversations in person not on a mobile.

I want her to know that nip in the air announcing the winter and observe the slanted rays of the sun telling us that the days are getting shorter. Our nature journal consists of lovely notes of all these occurrences.

Nature journal practice has bonded well. It has also made us revere and respect nature in an amazing way.

Life changes literally and figuratively. These lovely moments of togetherness keep you grounded and become an anchor later in life.

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Dear Daughter

Birds

Dear Daughter,

It is strange to observe how time flies! It seemed just like that yesterday you came into our life as a helpless sweet little bundle. However, eleven years have walked through the curtain of time, and I can hardly believe. This year as you celebrate your eleventh birthday, I decided to write this letter. We can read it together when you turn twenty one!

I have tried to record many enchanting moments through all these years. Whenever I visit my blog, I notice this drawing that adorns the blog. You were two years when you created this. I smile as it transports me to those beautiful days when you danced as shimmering light of dawn and slept like an angel (though only for few minutes).
Today you stand tall, confident, happy and enthusiastic. Your girlhood and adolescence seem to compete with each other. As I watch you grow up, I feel proud and scared at the same time. Dear daughter, the world today is evil and the mother in me constantly worries about your safety.

Your energy sometimes frustrates me dear daughter; I want you to calm down. Slow your pace to experience life, see the grace around you and feel it. Rushing through our days and through life has become our mantra. We hardly have any time to ‘live’ life in the real sense.

Nest

The Nest

Remember when we created our nature journal last year we discovered such lovely things near us. We found that tiny nest on the top of the park just next to our terrace and small babies waiting for their mother to come. We observed a woodpecker visiting that leafless tree. Remember how we used to wait for the bird (our Woody) to visit. However, that tree was cut down, and we lost our Woody forever. Yes, life changes and we need to accept the change as only change is constant. These moments, would become an anchor later in life when you feel lonely. So try to notice these little things, experience the exquisite as you walk through life. Though happiness cannot be taught, it’s an art that needs to be practiced. Try to notice the perfect ‘imperfections’ of apparently mundane days where life dwells and joy resides.

I am not asking you to become slow. You should run at times to feel the air in your face and jump and shout, but not all the time. Dance in the rain let the droplets soak you. Nature is very healing and rainy afternoons and paper boats are so enjoyable. Dear daughter, let life unfold like a flower one day at a time.

Believe in yourself while taking your decisions. Don’t be afraid to follow your passions that one-day would lead to your dreams. Let people say anything don’t look for acceptance from the world, but accept yourself as you are. See your own beauty and don’t compare. Beauty is the way to speak with compassion, with respect, with concern. Beautiful means to have the ability to make another feel warm at heart in your presence, beauty is those stars in your eyes. You have extremely expressive eyes, look after them lovingly.

When I scold you for eating too many chocolates sweets and junk food, you are frustrated. However, it is for your health. The mother in me wants the best for you. Treasure your health dear nothing else will ever matter.
And yes about those hurts, yes you will face some bitter, harsh truths; sometimes people will be mean and rude. Life will look very unfair, but my dear accept it with all humility and surrender as grass does in the midst of a storm. It’s alright to cry sometimes and fearlessly, give way to tears; you will feel healed after a good cry.

Lastly I have not been able to spend much time with you as much as I want to due to other responsibilities, but let’s make a pact; we will try to catch more time together on weekends when we cook, create, read or just lie in the bed and listen to the night sounds.

Lovingly

Maa