For not knowing any better then, there were moments in my childhood which I look back now with sadness. Those moments when I did not give Mother Nature the reverence and respect she truly deserves. As a child growing up in the countryside in Philippines, I was one of the kids who went around with slingshots aiming for birds and insects. We would collect the sap from the jackfruit tree to turn it into a sort of glue when we hunt for crickets in the trees. We would play with those crickets and they would end up on sticks pretending they were barbeques when we play pretend store or restaurant. I’m glad that I would be separated from those kids in the neighborhood when I went to a different school in another town when I was nine. I learned that there was more to childhood fun than being mean to creatures especially the small and helpless ones from human cruelty.
As a grown up and having learned more about nature, I just wish that I could undo the damage I caused way back then by educating the little ones now about reverence for anything that the good Lord has given us. The environmental degradation that we see nowadays is caused by ignorance, greed and in many instances, also by sheer indifference. The education about appreciation for nature should start from childhood because that is the time when values are being formed. The kids who hunted those birds if not led to the right path, will go into big-time poaching in later life. The ignorant ones will be easy prey to the greedy ones who will take possession on the bounties of nature that they are endowed with. And the indifferent ones, if they are not affected, will simply let the whole environmental abuse go on.
Teaching a child the appreciation of nature is shown by example. With my daughter, we would go out looking for insects to observe them in their natural world. These days, we would bring old bread to feed the birds rather than the slingshots of my childhood. As parents, it is our primordial task to instill in our kids that being stewards of nature for the generations to come is their responsibility.
Armed with my camera, I now look at these seemingly ordinary things…insects, flies, butterflies, spiders, flowers, weeds in extraordinary ways. These pictures were taken one late morning in our neighborhood late in the summer of 2010.
Red poppies among yellow blooms
Poppies after flowering
Spider in its web
Little lake beside our home
Lotus flowers in the lake