Why Must We Remain In Touch With Nature?

About the author

Shivani is a 4th year college student who enjoys spending her time in nature
and 
likes to engage in conversations regarding the environment.

A few days back...

I attended Javed Akhtar’s session on the legendary poet and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi’s life at Jashn-e-Rekhta. As the session proceeded, Javed saab stated a very notable Observation when asked about why lyrics earlier were centered around nature. He said, and I roughly translate “Now-a-days people have forgotten about nature. So many people are sitting here including me; when was the last time we saw the full moon? When was the last time we walked amongst trees and listened to the sound of the wind? When was the last time we sat beside a waterfall and closed our eyes? Our relationship and interaction with nature has been diminished. Earlier there used to be birds, flowers, gardens, clear skies, clean rivers, because we had a connect with nature – Now we’ve lost that connect with nature completely, as we live in concrete jungles. When people have no time for nature, how do we expect them to relate to the lyrics that are about nature? Maybe this is why lyricists don’t mention nature in their songs anymore”.

And it made complete sense...

I remember my afternoon memories to be of climbing trees, running amuck in mud, picking up fallen mulberries and jamuns from the central Delhi avenues, playing hide and seek amongst large trees, observing butterflies, walking barefoot early morning on grass, following the movements of tadpoles in ponds, and being amused by seeing earthworms and ants at work. Many of us share such a childhood, where summer or playtime meant to go outdoors, to be outside. Grass felt better than concrete, trees felt relaxing and let us not forget the countless hours we spent observing insects and fallen flowers in grass. But where do we see ourselves when we talk of a holiday or nature anymore?

Lifestyles have turned busier...

There are numerous lists to spend on. Recreation has changed as a definition, where once only picnics sufficed, now elaborate dinners, long drives, cruise holidays and whatnot seem to fall short. A holiday translates to time off and nature is simply the scattered trees around our neighbourhood. There are those of us, who see and work with nature and many more of us working to conserve it. But how much attachment can one generate, when there is no mental or emotional connection. If we all acted based on what was required, the Earth wouldn’t be this way, not politically, not environmentally. We don’t stop to see stars in our cities, we are able to go to a “pristine” holiday destination or a sanctuary to observe nature.

I was clicking a few flamingos...

at Okhla bird sanctuary the other day and pointed a few red naped Ibis to photographers. They shrugged it off by saying it’s just an Ibis. That is the problem today. We don’t value how beautiful or amazing nature is. It isn’t a holiday destination or a photo-op. It isn’t an escape for the bustle or a place seldom found. Nature is all around us, in every stir, every moment, right from the pigeons we see, to rare flamingos, from stray dogs to wild giraffes, from eucalyptus trees to flowering silk cottons, it is all nature. And it is all around us.

We have been consistently withdrawing...

from nature and it is something we must stop and introspect. Set aside our phones or devices and see the sky. Stop and look at what’s stirring around trees. At squirrels running or the odd butterfly flying. Honestly, observe the antennae of the moth a little better if choice is limited. But see nature, notice how much of it exists as it could in our childhood. Question it’s loss, question why it has become a place of luxury. It is this contact and connection that we need to build, step-wise if needed.

When we come together...

as a community and spend time in nature, we realize the resources that are there for all of us to cherish ; and protect. It enables us to find meaning in the little joys and nourish the love we have for life (through nature). Being in touch with nature also reminds us what’s at stake if we don’t actively push ourselves to protect it. Live where we are for once and make it count.

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