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Welcoming Summer!

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Let’s use the summer months thanking God for the sun and doing all the little things we can to connect with nature in our own small ways”¦even it means simply gazing at a crow’s nest while stuck in a traffic jam!

By Nigar

The changing of seasons is part of God Almighty’s wonderful creation. With summer ahead, let us look forward to bright sunny days, by the grace of God!
Most human beings, unlike animals and birds, never seem to be content. They forever have something or the other that they love complaining about: from man-made corruption, traffic jams and pollution to beautiful God-made things like the weather. In summer, we moan that it’s too hot; in winter, we groan that it’s very cold; in the rainy season, we grumble about the downpour; and when spring arrives and the flowers are in bloom, we don’t make time to admire them!
Summer is a beautiful time to connect with nature””if you really lend your ears to it! At dawn, you can listen to the koel singing its beautiful song, and on hot afternoons you can turn your ear to the chirping of the cricket.
Not all of us may live in areas with a lot of greenery around. Yet, still, we can connect with nature, not just in summer, but in all other seasons, too. Some of my friends who live in apartment-buildings serve nature in their own ways, like Trinkoo, who puts left-over food just outside the windowsill, and it is a delight to see crows, mynahs, and squirrels happily munching away happily at the titbits. Pi has found a way to connect with nature by trying to do something about the way “unclaimed and stray” dogs are treated in cities. He is busy researching and studying ways to treat these creatures in a kinder way. Aunty Mira sets out grains for the pigeons and peanuts for the squirrels in her balcony in the mornings. Suru makes it a point to walk around a lake near his home””and he does see some pretty birds, even though the area where he lives is part of a huge city!
Most of us are caught up in the rattle, routine and race of an unnecessarily complicated lifestyle. How often it is that we feel trapped in a traffic jam, surrounded by tall buildings, crowded streets and piles of garbage””hell on earth! This is what I too feel at times, but one day, recently, I chose not to focus on the traffic jam and looked at the trees across the road. And lo and behold, I was delighted to spot a pretty crow’s nest up on the tree! I wondered at how sweetly the bird had chosen that tree and how it must have collected the twigs to build its nest!
Reflecting on that nest brings me back to the roots of life. I realise how important it is to reflect on and wonder at God’s amazing creation””so many different kinds of beautiful animals, birds, water-bodies, plants, and so on. When we connect with nature, recognising it as God’s wonderful creation, we can avoid getting depressed when faced with man-made horrors that we see all around us.
Now, of course many of us can’t avoid challenging things like potholed roads, traffic jams etc., but if we shift our attention to the beautiful things that God has made, it can do wonders for our bodies, minds and souls and help us retain some semblance of sanity. Yes, even amidst the concrete jungle of a megacity, the sight of a little crow’s nest can make you happy!
You can derive joy by not just admiring nature but also by doing acts of service to bring joy to other creatures of God around you. When you become a means to bring joy to others, you bring joy to yourself. So, with summer round the corner, maybe we can, for instance, keep a bowl of water on our terrace or in the backyard so that thirsty birds, squirrels, cats and other beautiful creatures passing by can take a sip. Or maybe we can carry a packet of biscuits with us to give to a hungry dog on the street.
Another exciting thing this summer is World Sparrow Day, which falls on March 20. The sparrow is hardly to be seen around in our cities as humans have done many things that have made this cute bird fly away elsewhere. So, keep a look out for things that some good-hearted people where you live might be doing to pay tribute to this bird on the day that’s dedicated to it. Maybe we could pray for the sparrow and hope that it comes back to the cities once again!
As they say, make hay while the sun shines. This summer, while the sun is bright and shining, let’s think of things we can do to connect with nature in our own ways”¦even it means simply gazing at a crow’s nest while stuck in a traffic jam!