In accordance with creator and filmmaker Priyanka Kumar, being in nature can heal us, our damaged relationships with one another, and even start to contribute to the therapeutic of the planet.
In Kumar’s new guide, Conversations with Birds, she explores a few of her experiences with birds and the way observing them generally is a set off for consciousness of human affect on nature. “Birds are my calendar. They modify me to the seasons, and to myself,” the guide begins. Kumar will learn from Conversations with Birds on Sunday (January 15) at 4pm at Somos, positioned at 108 Civic Plaza Drive.
Kumar advised Taos Information, “Over the previous 20 years, I’ve had transformative experiences with birds. The experiences grew to become increasingly intense the deeper I delved into my journey as a naturalist. Many individuals don’t have any private relationship with the pure world. Birds drew me into their world in a means that grew to become transformative.” “That is particularly vital in a world stuffed with expertise and media. The pandemic has separated us additional and weakened an already fragmented cloth. The outside is a spot to reconnect with the pure world, ourselves and the disaster the planet is going through.”
As a toddler, Kumar lived within the Himalayas in northern India, which continues to be thought of one of the vital vital biodiversity hotspots on the planet. Pure and courageous as a toddler, she fell in love with the translucent snake skins present in her backyard and tried to think about the lives they’d. When a nun at a convent faculty was bitten by a leaf python, her curiosity in these long-legged reptiles elevated.
I moved west in my teenagers and skilled a disconnect with nature that felt like a loss. “It wasn’t till I entered the pure world once more that I started to have these life-changing experiences with birds,” she stated. “I used to stay in California and hiked and backpacked, however it was irritating as a result of I used to be nonetheless lacking intimacy. It wasn’t till I started to see birds as not simply aesthetically pleasing creatures that I took an interest and regained the intimacy that I had.” I misplaced her. In a means, this guide is a love music to the birds that gave me this present and allowed me to re-embark on this journey that I’ve now been on for thus a few years.”
As a younger filmmaker, she has been trekking the Excessive Sierra Path in California’s Sequoia Nationwide Park. At the moment, she was residing at sea degree. She had climbed greater and better within the June warmth, and had reached an altitude of 10,000 ft when she started to really feel ailing. “I felt nauseous, debilitated, and utterly in contrast to myself. As a substitute of mountaineering, I used to be dragging myself down the path,” Kumar writes. Nevertheless, with out a specific ailment, I hesitated to file a grievance on the primary day of an outing for a couple of week.”
Her husband, Michael, had injured his proper heel, and though they’d been planning a number of days of backpacking, he steered they return. Kumar was grateful to get off. I puzzled if she had heatstroke.
Again on the base of the highway, the 2 arrange camp. She wrote: “I hurried to the tent and collapsed onto my sleeping bag.” Mendacity down, I spotted one thing sharp was piercing my brow, squeezing the life out of me. Whereas she is resting, Michael invitations her to come back see the shining chook exterior their tent. With some effort, I solely obtained my head out of the tent. The vivid colours of the male tanger, and its head gently brushed vermilion crimson, stand out in opposition to the darkish inexperienced of the Ponderosa department. I used to be transported to a childhood reminiscence in India, staring fortunately on the mangoes my father introduced me from the farmer’s market,” she wrote.
The second brings her again to consciousness, however later when she tries to stroll, she is wobbly and begins to hallucinate.
Realizing she is likely to be affected by altitude illness, the 2 pack up in the course of the evening and begin driving dwelling. It wasn’t till they’d descended 4,000 ft that the pounding within the head lastly stopped. She contemplated the concept that with out the looks of a vivid tan, the extent of her sickness might have gone unnoticed, resulting in disastrous penalties.
Kumar was already apprehensive about habitat loss, however this expertise with western tanagers has heightened her considerations concerning the ecosystem.
Having lived in locations like Los Angeles and Manhattan and labored within the movie world, she determined to maneuver to Santa Fe 15 years in the past after a visit to New Mexico. Due to the sense of solitude, the piñon forest, and the wealthy cultural traditions, she was prepared to come back to a state the place she did not need to go to extremes to discover a place to stroll or hike in forests that weren’t too fragmented.
Though there was a threat of being reduce off from Los Angeles and New York, she was prepared to place up with it as a way to stay someplace that made her really feel alive with each day contact with nature.
Right here the tanger additionally appeared. “Seeing a Western hummingbird perched on a juniper tree is like wanting into the molten coronary heart of the Southwest panorama,” she wrote.
private relationship with nature
This isn’t the primary time Kumar has written about birds.
A number of years in the past, I revealed Take Wings and Fly, a novel set within the aggressive world of birding. “There are themes on this guide that resonate with the brand new guide. I checked out questions like: What’s our relationship to the pure world? And she or he defined that in birds there generally is a sense of chook consumption.” With this guide, I am taking a unique method. As an artist who thinks concerning the deeper challenges and crises of separation, I see fragmentation and separation spill over into the pure world.”
She seems at social themes as they mix into themes of nature, and questions this time of nice psychological sickness brought about or worsened by the pandemic.
“Creating private relationships with nature addresses this disconnect to a deeper extent. Birds can pull us out of ourselves and paradoxically go deeper into ourselves, ultimately coming again and connecting us.” This will help us soothe a number of the psychological well being points we now have. The local weather disaster is just a principle if we do not need private contact with nature. We’re unsure what’s at stake and why we should always care.
She added, “After we’re truly within the woods and we begin to watch the birds that stay there and migrate, we begin to get a way of what is going on on.” “We merely aren’t seeing birds within the numbers that we did 5 to 10 years in the past. Birds are affected by a warming local weather and excessive international fluctuations. If we see that, we would really feel impressed to stay in a means that is kinder to the planet.”
She famous that strolling connects us to our neighborhoods and communities and that there is no such thing as a substitute for going exterior daily – even in winter.
Conversations with Birds has been acknowledged as one in every of Publishers High Ten Non-Fiction Books of Fall 2022 and Apple Ebook of the Month amongst different awards.
Kumar stated, “I used to be very grateful for the large response the guide has already obtained. It went into second version inside a number of weeks of its publication. It appears to have resonated with folks and I’m very grateful for that. It provides me hope.”
Books will probably be out there for buy on studying or by particular order on the op. Quote. Library 575-751-1999. Within the studying, Kumar will speak about what led her to put in writing the guide and a number of the birds that impressed her. After that it is going to be out there for signing copies.
“I’m actually wanting ahead to studying and interacting with the birding and literature group,” she stated. “I really like coming to Taos and mountaineering within the Carson Nationwide Forest, particularly the Columbine-Hondo Wild Forest. I additionally get pleasure from going to Fred Baca Park to hike by way of the wetlands. Folks in Taos are so fortunate to be surrounded by all that nature.”
To be taught extra about Kumar’s writings and movies, go to her web site at priyankakumar.com.