Living in a campus with a whole lot of birds animals, not to mention trees and plants, I think I have pretty much taken nature for granted. I always intended to slow down a bit and take time to admire what was in front of me, but that never really happened untill Migu came along.
There is something about the sheer joy with which a child reacts to a bird, a butterfly or even just a stray dog or cat. Initially, making her sit in the garden specially while eating had a very instrumental value. She had enough things to distract her and she would eat. This value still remains, but it also allowed me a chance to sit down and actually watch the birds, the parrots, eagles, jungle blabber and ocassionally even the peacocks which visited our garden.
And it really makes you slow down. Recently. as I was going to drop her off at day care, she noticed a butterfly in the garden. She didnt want to come untill it went away. We were already running late and I had to get to work. It was a big struggle for me to let her follow the butterfly’s flight to her heart’s content and tell myself it is ok to be late.
Migu also loves to feed these visitors and although it does encourage a habit of throwing food (which is not something I like to encourage), I still dont have the heart to stop her. It is like she beleives at least one fourth of the dosa should go to the birds by right, and the birds have a right to eat a share of her banana, apples and even oranges. Though barely two, she has also observed that the birds prefer certain fruits like pomegranate and apples over bananas and oranges.
Before Migu came into our life, I had a habit of sitting in the garden and having my morning coffee. I told myself that I was doing it to enjoy nature, but my mind very seldom focused on what was happening in the garden. After Migu came, I used to rue the fact that opportunities to enjoy a cup of coffee are no longer available for me. But she taught me that there were so many more opportunities to enjoy nature, if only I chose to pay attention, and be in the present. And now, every walk I take with her, every meal I feed her, is an opportunity to enjoy all that this campus has to offer us.