Have you ever walked through a park or past a tree or through a forest on a trek maybe, and not taken the time to really look at it?
Last Sunday, the team and I spent the evening doing our first Junior Green Connect Program at the Puttenahalli lake in collaboration with PNLIT who do a wonderful job in, as they put it, breathing life into the lake. The children were so curious, playful, energetic, and yet alert enough to absorb some of what we were trying to show them. Where, I wonder, do we lose that childlike playfulness?
After some icebreakers, we started out on a Scavenger Hunt. Finding interesting things that we hadn’t found, paying attention to things we had seen but never really appreciated. Some decided to run through it, excited to find the next thing on the list and others wanted to take their time exploring each one slowly. The adults must have really wondered what was going on
I remember watching as we took off our footwear to walk through the grass something that a couple of us were nervous to do. These team mates quickly stepped in and out, always watching carefully to make sure there wasn’t anything else in the grass. That’s ok. It is the first step to a beautiful journey.
Sticky things, muddy things, smooth things, rough things, pretty things and, some not-so-pretty things all got some attention.
We discussed how to pay attention to a plant to see if it likes us taking things from it. We all put our minds together and formed a list of signs for us to use. The aim of the exercise was to see if more attention can be paid to the plants as living beings and see if we can start appreciating what they do for us and, boy did that happen! Each plant was asked before we harvested from it and, each plant was thanked afterwards. Some times we assumed that the plant wanted to give because we wanted to take so badly But, the process is set now though. Some wild edibles were gathered and tasted. Some fun things gathered to take home.
So many precious moments happened on this trail. Wide eyes, indignation at another person when they didn’t wait for the plant to give permission and curious questions of if this is edible or not. I wish I could share them all with you, reader. But, mostly, I wish I could share with you all that happened in the next activity.
We asked the little ones to see if they could find themselves a friend in the park. A tree that they would name, find the characteristics of and make friends with.
He had a very long name which I am not going to try to tell you for fear I will get it wrong. He was also a feisty, but happy tree. Well worth making friends with. There are I am afraid no more pictures of what happened here. We were all just too busy making new acquaintances and introducing each other around.
By this time, we started getting hungry and thirsty. A quick game was played to show the kids how if you listen to someone else describing what they saw in nature you might get it wrong. But, if you see it yourself, you can know so much more.
In the scamper to get to nourishment afterward, the team and I missed out on saying how grateful we are to have had that shared experience with the kids. Can’t wait to make some more memories and learn together.Grin! Janani