By Erline Sherman
“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”
– John Muir
For centuries Nature has proved to be the best healer, physician, and balm to the soul. So powerful are its therapeutic effects that it brings back the lost vitality and recuperates the ailing spirit. At a time when the pandemic is looming large, we have once in a lifetime chance to connect with Nature. It’s a unique opportunity of reflection, introspection, and make a connection with Nature to get back our lost resilience.
Today as we sit within the shelter of our homes, we can decide for ourselves and our children to be a “rainbow in the sky." Although our routines are disrupted, with folks working from home and children opting for online tutoring, we have one constant in our lives i.e. Nature.
So indulge your inner child, why not look outside the window and up to the sky. The time is right to show to our children that the birds are still chirping and singing. Let it sink, and be mindful and pay attention to all the humming and the buzzing of the bees around. Here’s a list of things to do along with your child, to heal from the stress and panic caused by COVID 19:
Teach the children the importance of biodiversity and wildlife It’s a relevant time to reflect on the beauty of the biomes, habitats and the importance of conservation. Tell your children about the butterfly effect on how we are interconnected as a whole as one small change can make bigger changes happen. It’s time to teach our children to respect ecosystems and climate change. Just like Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg, the children can make their voices heard. We can take it upon ourselves to teach them about wildlife and how it is in our interest to protect and respect them.
Observe the Nature around
The one constant of our lives is ‘Nature’. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with our old friend. You may not be able to take a walk around the park but you can still stargaze with your children, teach them to attend to the kitchen garden and water the potted plants. Simply make your home the classroom and take a leaf out of the science books. Show them how the beans sprout, tell them to keep a diary and track its daily progress. It’s time to teach our children patience and how growth happens over a while.
Readout Nature poems
Like us, some of the best poets have turned to Nature to help them cope with a loss or for hope, during stressful times in their lives. Nature poets like William Wordsworth conceived Nature as a ‘living personality’. So read out to your children poems like “Daffodils”, “My heart leaps up”, “I wandered lonely as a Cloud” and others.
Cartoons and movies that instill respect for Nature We can watch famous cartoons and movies with our children that can inculcate a sense of responsibility towards the environment. Go ahead and indulge your inner child. You can watch “Captain Planet”, “Bill Nye the science guy”, “Sesame Street” and movies like “Enchanted”, “Bears” and “The Jungle Book” among others.
Well, it’s time to practice mindfulness, to meditate a little and let our children do the same. Allow yourself and your children to experience the little bit of sunshine, feel the gust of wind on your faces and look out for that little squirrel going about its daily work. It’s simply a time to disconnect from the outside panic-stricken world and cultivate habits that nourish our souls. Reach out to Nature and let’s tend to our indoor plants. It’s time to observe that little goldfish in your aquarium and marvel at the swishing and swirling that goes around.
Most importantly, we have to teach our children to question our routine habits like a handshake. We have to ensure that they practice hygiene, social distancing, and washing their hands. It’s time to upgrade ourselves and show kindness to other children of Nature like professionals belonging to healthcare, stray dogs and cats. With schools, colleges and campuses shut and we have to make our children realize what zoo must feel like.
After having known what captivity feels like, let’s teach our children never to confine birds to a cage. We are beings of Nature and a symbiotic relationship works the best for us. Just like a microscopic entity has brought the world to its knees, it’s a lesson to us to maintain equilibrium.
Most importantly, we can hear Nature speak to us. It’s beckoning us to hear its call. The message is loud and clear, ‘disconnect’ to ‘connect’ with our inner child. The cure lies with Nature itself as it truly is a powerful recourse in a time of crisis. So, ask your children to watch out for little worms, look at the flowers from the window, admire the wayward pigeon and hear the songs of cicadas. It’s time to befriend Nature and be grateful for being a part of the great grand design.
Erline Sherman is a mother of two as well as an HR Communications Specialist working with TutorEye.