Have you ever thought of a moment when nature, tired of her daily chores, decides to go into a deep slumber. Have you thought of the alarm, terror and consternation this sleep could trigger in all the species on this earth? Just think of a few situations. All the seeds that you sow into the field refusing to sprout. Fruits reluctant to ripen and fall. Milk unwilling to turn into curd. All the garbage tossed around you resisting to decay. Seasons forgetting their turn of arrival. If this happens, we can be sure that the end of this green planet is not far off.
Early man used to worship nature as the mother of all creations and used to sing hymns to her. Modern man's callous indifference to nature provokes me to think that somewhere down the lane of our progress we started seeing her as our stepmother. It is not my intention here to dwell on the macro changes that have taken place in nature as a result of our evolution into super tech human beings. Only time can tell us to what extend the holes in the Ozone umbrella or the ever increasing environmental pollution will affect the biorhythm of this universe. Nevertheless, it is my conviction that the more we love nature, the more we get attuned to her rhythm, the lesser will be our tendencies to disrupt it.
How often have we tried to listen to the sounds of nature, experience its solitude and tried to decipher the meaning and purpose of the infinite changes and processes taking place around us? One of the earliest images of nature that I still carry is of a brilliant rainbow that I saw after a summer shower. Standing on the edge of the field behind my house, I wondered how all the colors of the earth got sprayed on to the sky. Having lived in the wet lands of Kerala, I have often seen the incessant fury of monsoon uprooting huge oak trees and yet leaving the delicate bamboo to sway down and straighten up again. What a wonderful choreography trees and plants exhibit when wind, rain and thunderstorm give them accompaniments. The intoxicating smell of flowering mango trees heralded the arrival of winter. Parched riverbed became our playground during summer. The sudden efflorescence of nature revealed the smiles of spring. I, fortunately, thus grew up sensing this rhythm of nature.
I have often thought that the chief cause of modern man's malady and troubled existence is his alienation from nature. Sadly many people realize this quite late, when they get tired and exhausted with their professional, political or social life. If we start listening to the voices of silence, watch birds flying from tree to tree in dazzling sunlight, hear the murmur of ocean, see the soft moonlight filtering through the dense foliage of trees and hear nightingales singing in the night, we will then understand what peace, serenity and patience means. We will have a new awareness of the symbiotic relationship of things around us. This will give a new spark to our creative sides and we may perhaps find fresh solutions to our problems and it may even lead to a self-renewal.
A matter of equal importance is that we should teach our children to love nature and live in harmony with her myriad faces. The children of present generation are showing wayward tendencies even at a tender age and the reason I think is that they are often out of touch with nature. Tell them that the purest of all scents and aromas emanate from nature and there is no sight more delighting to their soul than watching nature changing her dresses. Let them shout all the obscene words to a running stream and it will still continue to flow merrily with the same limpid smile and muffled laughter. Show them the glistening dew on flowers. Let them inhale the warm smell of ploughed fields. Have a swim to show them the sinews and muscles of river. Show them nature unloosening her tresses in a cascade of waterfall. Let them see how the litter thrown into nature is re-fashioned into new creations by her miracle of workmanship. Above all, tell our kids to have respect for all creations and creative process in nature.
I would like to share with you an incident that happened in the life of the great Greek novelist Kazantzakis. He was once taking a morning stroll in his garden and discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree. The butterfly inside was making a hole in the cocoon and preparing to come out. He waited for a while and he was impatient. He then bent over the cocoon and breathed on it to warm it. A miracle began to happen before his eyes, faster than life. The case opened and the butterfly started slowly crawling out. It tried with its whole trembling body to unfold its wings. To his horror he saw how its wings were folded back and crumpled. Bending over it, he tried to help it with another breath. It was in vain. The butterfly needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of its wings should be a gradual process in the sun. His breath had forced the butterfly to appear all crumpled before its time. It struggled desperately and a few seconds later died in the palm of his hand. The little body of that butterfly weighed on his conscience forever.
It is a sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the eternal rhythm.
This is based on a speech that won the International taped speech contest in 1999 conducted by Jubail Toastmasters in Saudi Arabia.