Nature loves us! It feeds us, clothes us and provides shelter. Sometimes I feel that Nature acts like my mother. And, like any mother, it takes care of all our needs and expects some love and respect in return.
Nature communicates with us at all levels. It speaks to us in sound and colour and the language of spring and summer, autumn and winter. It provides peace and tranquillity when we need it and high adventure when we seek it.
I remember sitting on the top of a hill one summer day, looking down at some sheep grazing in the distance, slowly moving about, their bleating and tinkling bells faintly carried on the wind. I was feeling lazy and warm, relaxed and far away from the hustle and bustle of everything and entirely at one with Nature. Eventually, I snapped back, unsure of how much time had passed while I was held so lovingly in the arms of Mother Nature. The memory has never left me and to this day, that communion with Nature helps me navigate the intricacies of modern life by keeping me grounded and secure.
Spring in Jordan is the ultimate feast for the eyes. Sometimes, impatient little weeds peak out of the ground as early as January, after a good downpour sates the rich brown Earth. Driving from one Jebel to another, we marvel at the sudden beauty that adorns the bare winter landscape with the promise of Spring.
And in Jordan, it is not at all surprising to encounter the odd shepherd with his flock of sheep, crossing a road, and on occasion, a highway, in search of grass. We delight at the sight of the new life being paraded in the form of tiny, snow-white, bleating lambs, frolicking in and out of the legs of their laid-back mamas. The older sheep are quite content to follow the shepherd, languidly swishing their heavy tails.
One of my favourite childhood memories is picking red poppies and chamomile flowers, which sprouted with the first whiff of the crisp spring air. There used to be carpets of poppies overrunning every garden and every road-side field. Chamomile flowers thrived on side roads in neat lines, next to the black asphalt. Nowadays, we have to leave the city far behind to find the fields where poppies grow, untouched by pollution and ambitious construction.
But what do we give back to Nature? True, we tend gardens and plant trees. We have also become aware of our carbon footprint and are taking erratic steps to “do something about it”. Too little, too late? Only time will tell. For now, Nature is wounded, deeply. Remember the holes in the ozone layer?
The scarcity of water is a worrying epidemic in the world, especially in our beloved Jordan. Collectively, we have managed to destroy Nature’s delicate balance. We have snatched what we desired without a backward glance or thought at the damage we are inflicting. Unless we do our part to rectify our mess, both Nature and we shall lose the fight. There will be no winners. So let us help our children build a better future by educating them to use Nature’s generous resources with care and respect.
Nature says to us, “I love you”. Let us respond by saying, “We love you too”.
And mean it.
By Andie Petrides