We are quickly running out of food for these guys… – My life partner & fellow birds lover said to me, looking anxiously at the birdhouse in our patio while a gorgeous goldfinch grabbed a piece of peanut and swiftly flew away.
Staying at home for weeks now, we have not shopped for the birds’ seeds lately.
“Ours are wild birds. Unlike birds kept captive by humans in cages, they don’t depend on our food! So at least that’s not the worry.” – I replied to him with a sense of relief.
However, by the time I finished saying that, my heart was filled with sadness.
So they won’t care to visit us just like that? :(
The next moment, I felt this deep longing for some specific trees, hills and forest trails filled with spring wildflowers, as I imagined, how they all would be looking and feeling at the moment while I was locked inside my house. I missed them. Terribly. But they would be as beautiful & joyful as ever, or perhaps even more.
It is one thing to miss someone you love. It is painful enough. But that pain is at a different level altogether when you think that they might not be missing you at all.
So, has it really come to this?
Is nature actually so happy not seeing us around since last so many weeks? Well, it sure looks like that!
The global Coronavirus crisis we as humanity are fighting is perhaps one of the biggest and most baffling in the recorded history of this world. There is a subtle sense of mystery to it. Something that seems beyond the grasp of all minds.
However pragmatically one tries to look at what’s happening, the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t feel like a standalone event.
From science to psychics, medicines to astrology, religion to spiritual practices, people are trying to find answers and solace in many different places during this apocalyptic feeling disaster. In these sensitive times when we are facing the fragility of life so up close, it will be wrong to judge anyone for going to any of these refuges.
All of a sudden each and every person on this earth is confronted by existential questions at one level or another. It feels like something/someone is punishing humanity.
So, is it mother nature who is angry and has finally lost her patience? Many intellectuals from various walks of life including scientists opine that.
One way to look at nature is as the manifestation of the almighty.
I come from a culture, where one of the ways to deal with difficult times is to pray to almighty for courage and direction while truthfully promising a genuine, noble deed (in return to the much-needed help).
This way, people end up doing many good things for society, which they otherwise forget to do and keep taking their blessings for granted.
Another way to look at nature, is as the supreme parent of us all, mother earth, as we call her. In that case, today she is a furious mother.
We of course see that fury time and again, in the form of earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, tsunamis and so on. But it seems that today she is so fed up with us, she has locked us all up and has simply stopped talking face to face with us.
This silent treatment feels so much more unbearable than that occasional rages we keep encountering (and then continuing with our ways once she starts smiling at us again.)
So, like kids who have been on bad behavior for far too long and who realize their mistakes, shouldn’t we be trying to redignify our relationship with our mother earth now?
Shouldn’t each one of us make a genuine, lifetime promise to her and fulfill it as soon as we get a chance to do so? It can be anything. Big or small. Trivial or great. About our lifestyles, behavior or some actual work towards the environment, wildlife, the earth & nature.
It can be a promise to plant a tree and take care of it for the rest of one’s life. It can be a promise to consume less and leaving a smaller carbon footprint or never to use plastic bags again. It can be about never to pollute ocean, rivers and lakes or never to harass/kill animals & birds. It can even be as simple as never ever to casually pluck leaves and flowers from plants. Or, a promise to spend a week in the pristine beauty of nature every year to realize its preciousness if one has never done so to date.
If you are a property builder, you can make a promise never to cut hills and trees, and make developments around them instead, leaving room for wildlife to live at least, if not thrive. If you are a farmer, you can promise never to put chemicals in soil.
So on and so forth, each and every person on this earth can examine one thing they can change or give or do for the rest of their lives to respect & value nature!
Nature, like any mother, is only nurturing and benevolent at the end of the day. She is hurt and wounded but she remembers that we are part of her too.
It’s only us who have forgotten that all important fact. We, for long have been behaving as if we own her, constantly committing the grave mistake of not honoring our harmony and obligation to her.
In the foolish quest to master the nature, our destruction of biodiversity and ecosystem has reached to the level where today our own existence is under threat.
The Coronavirus pandemic looks and sounds like one of the final (if not the final) wake up calls to humanity to acknowledge the need for connected thinking and a fundamental and sustainable transformation of the way we live. After all, this planet, our earth, is the one and only home we have in this vast universe.
In December 1968 mankind had seen one of the most influential photos of this home ever – “Earthrise”.
American astronaut William Anders along with his fellow crew members of Apollo 8, the first manned spacecraft to leave earth’s orbit, had witnessed a breathtaking blue sphere coming up, shining, beautiful, isolated, floating in the darkness of space.
That day, we saw our home from far away. We saw its beauty. We saw its frailty. We saw its limits. And yet we kept tormenting it. Our own home. The one & only.
As it seems, this year we will be spending the 50th Earth Day (April 22) inside the confinements of our homes. Earth doesn’t want to see us, at least for a while!
Well, these days, willingly or unwillingly, we are doing something great to our earth. We are letting her take a breather from us! Though unintentionally, the Earth Day of the year 2020 is perhaps the most special of all.
It provides us a never-before opportunity to contemplate the connection we have lost with our earth, and to brainstorm for once, what unique things each of us can do for this planet and the beautiful natural world on it.
While each of us is looking within and rethinking our personal ways of being in this forced (and much needed) stillness imposed upon us, let’s also think about that one true promise to mother nature.
Let’s also look forward to the day we will be fulfilling it with our heart & soul as we emerge on this planet again.
There is a power in positive, collective consciousness and purity of intentions. Let’s harness it. We are trying everything to save ourselves. Let’s try this too.
It will be great if you can share your promise in the comments, but even if you don’t, it’s fine. Just making one is vital now.
No. It’s INEVITABLE.
Article ©2020 Gyaneshwari Dave
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P.S: Here is a poem I had written in awe of nature/existence/creation – From my Illustrated Poetry Book.