Earth Hour : Of Connecting to Self and Nature
What happens, when an institute on a physical level decide to connect to Mother Earth? When a generation is taught to respect and care for earth in an organic way and from the heart? Here is a complete heart accout of one such instance as told by MAYA ROHERA.
At Touching Lives we started with Earth Project headed by Maya Rohera. Every month she takes one activity which is related to earth. It could be anything from connecting to nature, to planting, to avoiding plastic, to saving water and electricity.
The goal is simple, to create an earth which doesn’t need saving. Here is Maya’s account of the activity and the experiences she felt.
Nature is a blessing!
The first session for the Earth programme was connecting to nature. In this session, we had taken the children of each class to the garden. We started with the meditation on the grass and a prayer to the nature, its 5 elements (Air, water, Fire, sky, Mother Earth), animals, birds, trees, the food, the people who bring food to us daily to our plate, thanking them for everything they give us daily which we do not realise.
This was followed by an activity asking the children to observe the nature silently for 20 minutes and then coming back to share their experiences with everyone. A few examples were given as to what they can do to get connected to the nature. They were asked to see what it feels like hugging a tree, talking to them, walking in the grass barefoot, observing the leaves and flowers and its comparison with the human body, to see and hear them and get connected to them in any manner they wanted to.
Some of the experiences shared by the children were just mind boggling.
Here are few of them:
“It felt that for the very first time trees were actually speaking to me and responding to all the questions I was asking them. Before this many people would tell me that the trees talk to us but I never believed it, but today for the first time I felt it. Whatever questions I asked them, I got answers for every question I put forward to them and felt that all my dreams will come true. I also realised that these trees have life and they have feelings just like us.” – Mukandan
“I observed an ant and learnt that how an ant removed their ways even though there were many stones / boulders in front of it. It always removed new directions and ways always. In the same way, we should never feel sad and upset when we have problems but we should find new ways and overcome them and move ahead in life.” – Raj Pasre
“My experience about the project which Maya didi has started ‘Connecting with nature’ was really an amazing experience. I never had given such importance to nature in my life. But when I had gone and when I feel the nature I felt very overwhelming and happy. I gained infinite information about the nature through this project. That moment I learned about the feelings and language of the nature. If you want to learn the language of nature, you just have to go and feel the leaves, flowers, petals, roots of the plant from your heart. They ultimately tell us and talk with us. When you hear the sounds of their language, you feel very auspicious and you will become impatient to go deep in their language. When you touch the leaves of the plant, they feel secure and protected.” – Prashant Jamol
“Didi, I learnt what is there inside a flower and their colours and shapes are so different and so beautiful, such small things u told us , I liked that; This was the first time I walked on wet grass and just felt as though I was walking on the water and just loved the feeling; We had seen the Jamuns which had fallen from the trees and when you told me that this one seed is a tree in itself and that’s how we have so many jamuns now. Also, the varied colours in jamuns were so amazing to see and till date have never seen so many colors and shades in this one jamun. Wow ! I loved it a lot;
After you told us that how a leaf has a life just like us, the skeleton of a leaf is just like us. Just like we have nerves, spinal cord, blood vessels, veins, cells, same way we observed the leaf having the same.
The sun, air, water, trees , soil, gives us so much oxygen, air, fruits, food, cereals, etc, same way we should also keep giving.
You told us a lot about the nature, the Mother Earth and how it is so silent and about all other elements , I loved it.” – Dipsy
“I just sat down on the grass and enjoyed the rains.” – Abdul
“I have never had the time to experience nature because I was too busy working and being in my routine life, I have never seen a garden before like have seen it today and experienced this today, thank touching lives to bring me closer to myself and telling me that there is a life other than just working and being at home. This has completely changed my perspective and made me closer to nature and myself.” – Parveen
“The Hibiscus flower has a one day life but yet keeps smiling all day long, learnt from them to smile always whatever be the situations.” – Neelam
This was my first class with all the children, every time I took a class to the garden I just had some very beautiful and wonderful experiences .I just went by the flow and internally felt the joy when I saw each of our children getting connected to nature.
I now know that the objective of this session was fulfilled. It is amazing to see each child getting connected to the nature in their own unique way and being the Mother Earth Caretakers.
After each one shared their experiences, we ended by bowing down to the Mother earth and saying a prayer thanking the Mother earth for giving us everything in our daily life without which we couldn’t ever exist. At the end of the session, I could see all the children with their smiling happy faces. All natural without any pretence.
After the garden experiences with each class I myself feel a very special connection with each and every child individually. This experience connected me to the nature within me, and to each child in Touching Lives at a deeper level.