Seasonal eating for survival – Dr. Deepika Rodrigo

Aug 30, 2022 | Ayurveda

Please take 30 seconds of your precious time to look at this relaxing video while I tell you a story about these very interesting flock of birds, seen flying around just 15 miles away from London, in the suburb of Croydon.

It is a location with a lot of foliage, greenery but is not a jungle or a big forest and yet you will be surprised to see a flock of parakeets flying around, doing there own thing. I will tell you the story of these birds who were brough to England by a TV company who were making a documentary. After they were done filming they did not know what to do with the birds because to send them back was expensive and they did not want to kill the birds either. Instead, they released them around London. Now a few years later you can see this parakeets flying around everywhere, thriving. How did they learn to survive? It is an important story for all of us immigrants who have to come to this country and have learned to survive.

Last Monday morning, around 8 am, when I saw the birds, I was surprised by their togetherness and community. They came together for breakfast. There are a lot of plants over there and they are in the trees eating seasonally. Nobody asked them to. They are not saving for the future or winter, they are eating, they are happy, surviving. The sounds they make are amazing, they are singing, they are talking to each other, they communicate, they hug and feed each other, and it is lovely to see.

It amazes and at the same time makes me very sad. What happened to us as human beings? Someone has to say to us eat seasonally, do not collect everything, everything in the world is good enough for everyone to survive, there is enough food for everyone, we can live happily – taking nature as an example. This is enough for us to be enlightened or be woken up to see what we are really doing because we have what seems to be a very secure life. Good shelter, good food, a job to be done. But do we have good survival skills? If tomorrow, someone tells you there is going to be a 10 day power cut, we will die, the supermarkets cannot cope, and we won’t know what to eat. No electricity so our houses will be cold. Are we intelligent enough to think of how to survive if we lose that perceived control we value? I do not think we can survive really. Schools do not teach survival skills, they teach children about information found thousands of years ago, but no survival skills. When I saw this flock of birds and thought this is beautiful, this is giving us all the information we need to survive. As a migrant, even I had to learn how to survive, coming from an exotic country I had to learn to survive, and I did survive.

It does not matter whether you are black or white, your life matters. Black lives matter, white lives matter, everybody’s lives matter. What matters is how we live. It is the person with survival skills that will survive, as Charles Darwin says, the person who is going to survive is not necessarily the most intellectual one or the strong one or the richest one. It is the one who can adapt to the changes of the universe. That is why these little parakeets’ story amazes me because it makes me realise this world is enough for everybody. Are you a migrant, black or white, poor or rich? It doesn’t matter. We have survival skills, and we have the universe.

We have to learn to understand and enhance this relationship between the universe and us. When we are sick we do not have to run to the doctor and say what should I do? Listen to what your body says, listen to yourself. How did I get sick? What did I eat, what did I do? Your survival skills are with you. Find something from nature, just like these birds. Nobody asked them do you have the flu vaccine, do you have a headache, did you take paracetamol? No, they find what they need to survive from nature, from what it is available from the land, food, herbs, medicine, everything. We have to follow that and try and take control into our own hands. True nothing can be controlled completely, and everything is impermanent, but we can identify nature and the nature of us and who we are, and we can support it and be supported by nature to survive. We are not going to survive by killing all the microorganisms, all the bacteria, viruses and all the plants. If we want to collectively survive, we have to think differently.