Importance of being in nature

Its 10.30 a.m. on a bright Wednesday. How are you feeling? 95% of city-dwellers around the world will readily answer this question with one of the following adjectives – angry, frustrated, irritated, stressed…..And why not? Concrete buildings, traffic jams, and pollution has never given anyone good feelings.

But it’s different at Udhbhavaha.

Any time of the day, there is calmness, joy, and readiness to climb a tree! Well, yes, we are blessed to be jostling for space with mango trees, listening to the sweet call of the red-whiskered bulbul while marveling at the splash of colors from the Indian Jezebel butterfly and jumping over the striped millipede at our feet. We chose this place to set-up Udhbhavaha with the desire to give children the full benefit of learning, playing and growing in the lap of nature.

And what are those benefits?

Being amidst trees and plants even for a few minutes is so relaxing and soothing. Imagine doing this for 4 to 7 hours, 5 days a week. You are bound to become happy and stress-free. And to say that stress is the single largest problem afflicting people across age-groups the world-over.

Children who spend a lot of time in green spaces have a healthy immune system, can handle challenging life situations much better that their urban peers and are present to the subtle nuances of complexities in relationships. They are balanced in their behaviour and confident in the face of uncertainity. Coupled with the right type of education, they will turn out to be wonderful human-beings.

When the seasons transition, children at Udhbhavaha observe the shift in the rhythms of nature, and they know there will be no snakes around in December and January; when the Koel coos, mango season is here. In a school where we are allowed to hold a snake, chase butterflies and nurture saplings to be fruit-bearing trees, children are inextricably connected to nature. Then one does not have to be taught to preserve, conserve or save the other beings that share this planet with us. This becomes a part of their perception and every decision they make. 

Man’s first teacher was Mother Nature. He learnt what fruits to eat, got the inspiration to build an airplane and figured that he could swim across mighty rivers, by closely observing the myriad life-forms around. Who knows what new discoveries and inventions our children will make, taking lessons from bees, birds and bugs!

As we soak in and savour the different sights, smells, sounds and sensations of the world around us, we are bound to ask one question at some point – who created this wonderful world? And many begin a quest seeking ….

–Prithvi Anna