Natural order

Natural order

Nature provides answers to questions that are elemental to life itself. A reading of literature often becomes a medium for nature to both pose and provide solution to these questions. Study of literature not only educates the head but also the heart and mind. It adds reality and depth to life as it does not merely describe it, but also probes at its heart. Discussions that happen in a literature classroom enrich the necessary proficiency that daily life requires and it attempts to provide nourishment to the barren landscapes that our lives might become without the right kind of mediation.

While discussing a poem in class, we came to understand how nature (including human nature) is pushed to the margins by the unrelenting force of advancement and industrial development. The longing for natural spaces not corrupted by cement was not lost to the class. We further discussed how human intrusion and lack of understanding of the natural order will ultimately bereft humankind of insight that nature so kindly bestows on us.

One of the students shared a pertinent example to underscore the point that the natural order of things must not be disturbed as humans are not quite ready to understand the subtleties of Mother Nature. He mentioned how, as a child, he and his friends had spotted a bird’s nest under the bushes. Curiosity drove them to bring the nest into the open to examine the nestlings more closely. They enjoyed watching the little babies for a while and later got engrossed in playing and forgot about the nest altogether.

When they came back after a while, two little birds were missing. Perturbed they looked around, however, they could do nothing about the missing nestlings. When the student reached home, he discussed the occurrence with his mother; she all but dragged him to the spot where they had left the nest. The nest was still there, however, one more baby bird was missing. After a couple of frantic questions, his mother quickly kept the nest where it was originally placed — under the bushes. Despite this, they could not escape the anguished cry of the parent bird on its return.

As they walked home downcast, the mother explained, “The parent bird instinctively knows where to build a nest to keep it safe from predators. Your lack of awareness upset the normal direction of things.” 

This incident made a critical impact on the mind of the child, so much so that after almost a decade he was discussing this incident in a literature class. He had understood that natural order encompasses the natural relations of beings to one another and reckless human infringement will only result in heartache. 

Reading, reflecting, contemplating and introspecting are the constituents of a literature class; which often underscore the fact that physical universe is an organised system subject to natural, not human, laws. The answers you seek from nature or from a literature class hinge on the questions you pose and on your readiness to receive the responses.