Sunday reads~ Hints Of Life
Living with nature in the Pandemic.
Even as the world has been swept up by the pandemic, many of us have in this time rediscovered our love of nature and the outdoors. HOL asked its guest writers to share their heartfelt nature stories in these trying times. We asked them to reflect on how spending time in nature has brought joy, happiness and solace in their life.
We’re gratified by the overwhelming support from our writers. To read the previous stories click here.
Today, we share ”Raising nature’s child ” by Japjeet Duggal. As the times get tougher, the stories interesting.
Raising nature’se child
By Japjeet Duggal
A Yosemite forest of Pine, Fir, Incense Cedar, and Sequoia | Photo credit: Japjeet Duggal
I was laying in bed on this warm Saturday morning. Staring out of the window to the trees that surrounded our apartment, awake but not yet ready to get up as my eighteen months old lay asleep on my arm.
Had it been any other Saturday, I would have been making plans. Plans to show her new places, give her new experiences. But today, after a long time, I wanted to lay there, just look at the trees and soak in the sunshine reflecting from the bright green leaves.
It’s the year 2020. Nothing is normal this year. As my thoughts lingered a bit more, she woke up saying the words, “quack quack” and a smile with her eyes still close. She has been picking up animal sounds and she likes the sound ducks make. She had been a nature lover since she was a tiny baby who could not even see right.
To my surprise, I hear the sound of ducks and it struck me! It’s Saturday morning! This is when the ducks from a neighborhood park come to visit us and take a dip in the pool which is right next to our apartment here in California.
Fall colors at Yosemite National Park, California | Photo credit: Japjeet Duggal
One moment asleep, the second she was up with her eyes wide open to the sound of ducks. Third moment, we were standing on our balcony.
She watched the ducks take a dip in the water and play in the abandoned pool, free from humans who were locked in their houses. I, looked at her eyes shining and held her for she was jumping up and down in my arms.
A few moments later, we saw her old friend, the big squirrel who comes to our balcony for food, hiding in the tree, waiting for us to go back in. We come back in but sit at the edge of the bed, the closest spot to see the squirrel. The screen door closed so the little animal feels safe.
As the squirrel picks and eats the food we laid out for her, my 18-month-old had forgotten how hungry was that morning. Happy watching her favorite animals each morning.
Dry River Bed in Yosemite National Park, California | Photo credit: Japjeet Duggal
While the pandemic took away our freedom, it gave that freedom to the birds, squirrels, and other animals. While most of us humans were not happy to be stuck inside, I was happy.
Happy to see my 18-month-old grow in my arms, sit and play under the trees covering our two balconies, as I had imagined when she was growing inside me.
The pandemic gave us the once in a lifetime opportunity, to make memories with my firstborn in the house she was born in.
6 months later, she turned two, big enough to admire nature with all its colors and flavors. Pandemic fatigued, we planned a trip to the famous Yosemite national park for her birthday.
We drove up a day before her birthday. A city on the way is known for cattle rearing. We had to stop when she saw cows and yelled “MOO”. It was the first time she saw cows, not in books or TV.
Yosemite National Park, California | Photo credit: Japjeet Duggal
On her birthday, with the half dome in the background, she explored gigantic trees, small waterfalls, ran in the open land, admired new colors of nature, and more. It was cold and wet but she did not have a care in the world.
All she wanted to do was touch every big rock and run.
It was the perfect birthday gift for our nature baby.
Japjeet Duggal is a mother who lives with her husband and daughter in California. She shares a heartwarming and sweet nature story with us this week. You can follow Japjeet on instagram @japjeetduggal.
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