Learning from Mother Nature
August 21, 2018
I’ve recently looked back through some of my past posts. A few stood out to me with their themes of nature and how it inspires me to become a better care partner. I’d like to share with you these posts from last autumn, winter, and earlier this summer.
Sunday, October 22, 2017—1:55 pm—73˚F (23˚C)—A clear sunny day with blue skies and
Today was a beautiful autumn day and unusually warm. The sun reflected off the colorful leaves and created a breathtaking collage of colors. Sumi sat in the van in our driveway while I cut the grass in the yard.
When I perform diverse chores, such as cutting grass, doing yard work, taking care of Sumi, or writing in MJWS
I go into Zen mode. I get immersed in the task and creative thoughts randomly pop up in my mind, which gives me fodder for my writing.
In autumn, to clear the thin layer of fallen leaves from my yard I use a leaf blower. While I work to blow the leaves into a pile the high velocity of air from the blower travels under the leaves, making an air-tunnel that pushes them airborne. While the leaves are in the air they also catch prevailing winds from Mother Nature and fly their own way. Often they fly away
from where I want them to go. Watching the leaves flying through the air is a meditative moment and has relevance. When I take care of Sumi, many times she is like the airborne leaves. She wants to go her own way. All I can do is learn to direct or divert her attention.
Today I got about a 2.5-mile walk while cutting the grass and blowing leaves. Bending various times to empty the lawn bags helped my back and blowing leaves gave my hands a workout. On top of all this, I got to breathe fresh air. An active lifestyle is what I’m aiming for my well-being so I can take care of Sumi. And Sumi, sitting in the car, was able to have tranquility while soaking up the sun and watching me work. She smiled at me whenever I looked at her.
Monday, December 25, 2017—12:35 pm—21˚F (-6˚C)—Overnight snow of about 6 inches,
Every child and adult wishes for a white Christmas. And this year we got one, with about six inches of snow overnight.
This morning I cleared the snow from the driveway with a snow blower. Working with the snow blower reminds me of vacuuming inside the house. Both chores leave the ground clean. Instead of collecting dirt in a vacuum bag, though, you blow the snow away. Also, snow blowing means bundling up in layers of clothing to protect against the cold. And checking to see which way the wind is blowing to take advantage of it. By adjusting the chute of the snow blower, snow is thrown in the same direction. You work with Nature, not against it.
In Humans, Nature—our cells and genes—make us what we are and have significant roles in our bodies. On the other hand, Nurture—where we are born, how we are raised, and our values—also play a significant role in our lives. There is always a Yin and Yang relationship between Nature and Nurture. In Sanskrit, a close approximation would be Prakriti (Nature) and Sanskar (Nurture).
A person with Alzheimer’s disease loses much of the Nurture part as things they learned throughout their life are slowly degenerating and forgotten. Then the Nature part becomes more dominant. Sumi is now more Nature than Nurture as she has her own ways and ever-changing moods.
While taking care of Sumi I apply the lessons I learned from Nature. Just like when I am working with the drifting snow in the wind, I don’t fight. I go with the flow and re-direct or divert her!
Saturday, August 4, 2018—81˚F (22˚C)—Sunny, a beautiful day
Our daughter, Parini, came home this year for Mother’s Day. A few weeks after that our son, Jasen, and his fiancée, Jessica, also visited. Since they all live in Los Angeles I cherish their visits. When they were here they helped buy and plant flowers. As Jasen and Jessica were planting I parked our Pacifica sideways on the driveway so Sumi could enjoy watching us from inside.
This year, Michigan has had nice summer weather with many sunny and warm days. The flowers my children planted are now in full bloom and pleasant to look at. It brings vibrancy to our lives.
A friend from West Bloomfield recently wrote to me: Birth is the start of life, beauty is the art of life, love is part of life, death is the last of life, but friendship is the heart of life. Happy Friendship Day! KC, looks like Sumi is getting the creativity juices flowing out of you. Today is a great day to cherish our friends and family for all the good times we had together
And my friend is right, for all these years with my technical education and working in a corporate office the left side of my brain got exercised and became dominant but now Sumi has opened up the right side of my untapped brain. It enables me to think out of the box and apply creativity in what I do now.
When I write on MJWS
it is not me who is writing. Sumi has put the Kalam (pen) in my hand and given an unlimited supply of Syahi (ink). I am just the instrument.
Taking care of Sumi is like tending to flowers. It requires gentle love and nurturing to which they respond positively. With Sumi, I get a smile and cooperation and with flowers, I’m awarded their vigor and vibrancy.
As flowers orient themselves toward the sun for energy, Sumi now revolves around me.
Happy Friendship Day!