What a privilege to have extended my “Mindfulness of Nature” invitation to children aged 5 to 12 years old this week – in collaboration with the BirdLife Cyprus and the Family House summer school in Nicosia.
Every morning for the last five days in a local park in Nicosia, we invited the children to engage with the natural world through their own unique direct, felt, creative and imaginative experiences – rather than through the lens of knowledge, facts and rational argument.
We explored how our bodies are made of natural elements, practised using our eyes, ears, noses and hands to explore the natural world, interviewed trees, imagined we were birds, wrote poems, performed mimes and drew beautiful natural pictures. At the end of every session, we also took some time simply to rest on the ground and listen to the sounds of nature we could hear.
In a world where our disconnection from nature is having such huge consequences for our well-being and for that of the rest of the planet, it’s time to open our bodies, hearts and mind and bring our attention back to the natural world we’re part of. It seems so clear to me that children, like the natural world itself, have so much to teach us about living.
I’m really looking forward to working further with BirdLife Cyprus to develop a wider programme to bring these precious nature connection experiences to schools and children more widely on the island next year!
Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with this little homemade video where I asked a few of the children about their experiences this week and what they like the most about being in nature… (you can open in full screen for easier viewing)
…living in tents under trees to save the world? Sounds like a fabulous idea to me, don’t you think?