With over consumption of our natural resources, knocking down of all open spaces and construction everywhere for maximum usage of space, our environment is becoming nothing but a concrete jungle. Our kids do not have the luxury of open spaces and gardens to play in, like our parents did and to some extent even we did. It’s sad to see how our and our children’s lives today revolve around technology and is moving far away from nature. Our attachment and closeness to nature is now restricted only to a few days of vacation that most of us take once or maximum twice a year for a few days.
Apart from the various health benefits that being close to nature has, there are so many things that nature teaches us. Nature teaches us to be humble, to appreciate, to care and nurture, the fact that beauty lies in simplicity, self-offering, and so much more. It also teaches us that there is a reason behind everything and an appropriate time for everything. The biggest thing that nature teaches us is co-existence, which children of today definitely don’t understand. I feel somewhere in this concrete jungle where everyone and everything is so self centered and materialistic, we are forgetting these basic lessons of life and our kids are probably not even learning these things.
It’s heart wrenching to see how todays generation is becoming so superficial and is missing on the mere essence of life. It’s shocking but true that the kids of today don’t even know the difference between a bush and a tree. They don’t know how fruits grow. They have probably never seen fruit or nut trees, forget plucking a fruit directly from the tree and eating it.
I keep asking myself what is that I can do to come back closer to nature, to build that bond again, to bring my children (yet to come) closer to nature, to teach them these small but essentials of life in a natural way.
A few days back, I was talking to my mom about this and realized that in spite of a similar environment; she hasn’t let go of her love and proximity to nature. The balcony that everyone builds to be able to sit and enjoy a cup of tea with family, which eventually translates into a junkyard, is still a house of plants in our home. She has every type of plant in that balcony which she happily nurtures and enjoys. In fact not only our balcony but also the stair case and a few points in the house have beautiful plants to add a touch of green and bring nature close to us all. Even the exteriors of the house are covered with beautiful tall Ashok trees giving us just the right amount of sun and shade in every season.
With her being so enthusiastic about her plants, the flowers, the blooms and the beautiful colors in the balcony, consciously or unconsciously both me and my brother also enjoy nature and are still somewhere closer to it than a lot of others in my generation. We still love to step out every morning and breathe some fresh air and enjoy the site of these beautiful plants. We still run out to our balconies to see the new flower of the season that has just blossomed. We also have a small potted plant in our rooms as a part of our décor.
The interesting part of having plants all around are the other elements of nature that come along. The pretty birds chirping in our balcony, the squirrels running all around, eating up some fruit of the plants (and my mom getting upset over it), crows stealing things small to big (even things like hangers. Yes, I mean hangers!) to make their nests and so much more.
Every evening when we get home, my mom has a new story to tell us related to these cute but naughty birds, the plants and flowers and we all have such a nice laugh on it. It’s practically become an important part of our conversations and we all love it.
The more I think about it, the closer I get to my answer. We cannot do much about the knocking down of open spaces and construction. But what we can do is bring home some beautiful potted plants that, not only add to the interiors, make them greener and fresh but also keep us close to nature and teach us the essence of life, to nurture, to co-exist, to give and to care.