GB’S BLOG 7. PRISONER OF SCHEDULE
We do not realize that our life has actually become a timetable of do’s and don’ts. Starting from our toddling days when we have to take our food, sleep and play according to a set pattern, down our teenage school life, through our adult work life and finally in our old age, we are always ‘scheduled’ to do things. If we look closely, except perhaps for our declining years, we do not have time to just laze around. Being lazy has a bad connotation.
Yet there are umpteen studies on ‘burnt out’ lives, stressed families, sick individuals, hypertensive souls – type A personalities we have named them – that show that just an hour in nature, can bring back a great degree of equilibrium to our mental balance. “..our immune systems are happy when we’re happy. It does not take a huge stretch of the imagination to correlate the high-stress environment of overpopulation with diminished immune system function.”
Spring is the time when birds start to make families. Some begin even earlier so that there is enough nourishment when the chicks need it.
As I type this Blog, the scary Corona is consuming the whole world. The ‘advanced’ countries are faring as badly, if not worse than the underdeveloped ones. Paradoxically, we are forced to stay at home and relax, yet the constant bombardment of Covid related news gives us no peace. Indeed, our stress levels have increased. So, it is apparent that forced idleness is not the same as relaxing peace.
I believe that the quickest way to unwind under these circumstances, if you have the opportunity, is to be in nature: sitting in your porch and listening to the birds, lying on a hammock and looking at the synchronized dance of the leaves of the tress above, or just watching the sunset from your window through a flowering tree. To quote from a Blog by Dr Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, M.D, “Studies show health benefits from having a window with a view of a tree (Ulrich, 1984) and even from spending time with a potted plant (Grinde and Patil, 2009).”
If you have eyes to see……the root head of tree orchids wear shoes, or some in these days would suggest masks!
While most of the world closeted in our home-prisons is desperately looking for an end to the assault of these microbes, Soumya, Indrani and baby Ishaan are playing in nature, looking at the blooming flowers, the new birds joining the family playground, taking photos of nature’s artwork, and watering the thirsty plants and trees when the day is through. They have shelved thoughts of “tomorrow” since this is not in their hands.
16 month old Ishaan is helping to keep Svanir clean….by picking up fallen leaves. He also notices patterns on leaves. Every time he stands at this spot at the entrance to the dining cum kitchen complex, he studies the arty leaf patch.
The Svanir family is optimistic. Surely the tourism and hospitality sector has been hit very hard and is globally unlikely to rebound in the near future. Yet, we are inclined to believe that those of us who have had the time to introspect would be more disposed to include in their schedule a break. A break when they will go over with their family to places like Svanir to reconnect and reboot. A fellow blogger has opined that, “many will be reticent to travel (across countries) and will choose remote, domestic locations like campgrounds over densely populated areas”. I think domestic travelers will go for places that offer the best of nature and/ or world famous locations like Puri, Konark and Chilka lake; yet are close to take off points – rail stations and airports. Svanir fits this bill.
“In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on. In all the confusions of today, with all our troubles . . . with politicians and people slinging the word fear around, all of us become discouraged . . . tempted to say this is the end, the finish. But life — it goes on. It always has. It always will. Don’t forget that”. Robert Frost.
Please visit Svanir when the world is once more safe to travel and experience.