I think everyone would like to connect to nature more. Imagine that our ancestors living in the abundance of nature. Walk-in barefoot, drinking from a river, collecting fresh herbs. We are part of nature, and we feel refreshed when we are connected with nature. It’s no wonder that Swami ji can survive a year alone in nature, meditating.  

However, the four walls and fences we’ve built make us disconnected from nature. Sure, the reason we build up walls is to protect ourselves. But this has gone too far because we have destroyed the balance of nature.

But nature always has its way to flourish. Even with the concrete jungle and the smoke of pollution, there are always wild animals and plants that thrive and adapt.

Every morning, I can hear some chirping birds after waking up. There is a garden nearby my apartment, and a flock of sparrows often pass by my apartment window. One time, a sparrow come by to my balcony and chirping loudly.

I was so excited! We cannot have a pet in the apartment, and that’s a pity. But having visited by a sparrow sparks me an insight. Maybe they will come often if I have bird food.

After quick browsing, turns out I don’t have to buy bird food because sparrows can eat rice seeds. White or brown rice. Yay! As an Asian, of course, I stock some rice. I don’t have to add something to my groceries and the birds have more options of food to eat. It’s going to help them without any effort. So, without hesitation, I throw a handful (not that much, more like one tablespoon) of rice just on my balcony.

To my excitement, yes, the sparrow comes! For the first several days, one or two sparrows come for several seconds. Looks like they observing the balcony. One chirp, two chirps, then they fly away. As the days went by, there were two birds come at a time. They chirping enthusiastically for more than 10 seconds. Seems like they are talking to each other. That’s so cute! Or maybe that’s my imagination, but I believe they talk about their discovery. Because the birds keep coming again and again.

Getting closer to the nature in a big city 1

(My best attempt to capture them, most often I always fail XD and it’s more joyful to see them directly and enjoy the moment rather than intend to capture them through our phone. Mostly I only hear them chirp by while working.)

They even stay there when I was cooking just right by the balcony door. Seems like they are not afraid of me anymore. However, yes, when I make a big move, they fly away again.

The more often I spread some rice, the more I feel connected with them. I hope they have the same feeling 😀 Over time, I see some patterns.

Sparrow, like most birds, is the morning person. They wake up early and become energized automatically in the morning. They are social animals. They chirp to each other. And in the evening, they are gone. I realized this when there were leftover rice seeds spread in the night. Usually, if I spread the rice in the morning, it will be all gone in the afternoon. Sometimes it was already gone before noon.

They also have their preference for food. One time I spread some chia seeds only to find out that they don’t eat them. Haha 😀

And the birds do not usually come to the room that turned on their air conditioner. Maybe the sounds and the vibration of the machine make them hesitant to land. Luckily, my window is full of winds so that I don’t need to turn on my air conditioner during the day. My friend even added that I can put a bowl of freshwater for them, too, as they might have hard access to clean water.

Now, every morning I make sure to throw some rice for the birds. Sometimes my partner spread it, too. We enjoyed hearing more birds chirping. It’s small things that spark joy. Turns out, connecting to nature is possible even if we live in a four walls cage of a concrete skyscraper. 

As always, when we are mindful, we can connect to nature, wherever we are. What are your ways to connect to nature?

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Ria R

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