Feeling Alive in Contact with Nature

By Deng Yang-qiu (a Beichuan High School graduate, 2010)

For several weeks after the Earthquake, I felt distracted and depressed whenever I was asked about my progress in the classroom. I felt like the withered branch of an old tree, often wandering mindlessly. The depression and discomfort brought me a face full of pimples.

But once in contact with nature, I felt alive right away - I am alive! I felt joy and ease all over by body. My headache had gone, and so too had the discomfort of the classroom.

My childhood was embedded in Nature. When small, I used to go into the mountains to pick leaves, to plait straw-hats, to roll on the grass - how carefree I was. I was once full of curiosity for the world, and friendly toward others.

Under the arrangement of An Xin Team[1] , I climbed a mountain slope and found a bed of grass. I couldn’t help but lie on it and soak myself in the warming sunlight. Embraced by the arms of Mother Earth, I felt like walking on the country lanes where I used to be.

On those lanes where I used to be, I didn’t mind the morning dew wetting my trousers. I let Nature’s “coca cola” (sweet drinks) nurture me, and felt my good fortune. I could run freely, yell loudly and open up my heart without hesitation. This “alive” feeling you can never have in the classroom.

Nature gave me relief from my struggles in the classroom, and consoled my heart from its deep sorrow. Brother Tong suggested a stone-throwing game to us. “I will,” I replied and picked up a fair-sized stone. I threw my arm backward and threw the stone as far as I could. It went high and far.

Looking at the flying stones in the air, I felt the pressure and problems fly away too. Gazing at the chain of mountains stretching horizontally and vanishing into the skyline, I couldn’t help roaring out, letting out my grief and anger.

In the classroom, such activity is not an option. Vandalised public property will certainly be punished!

Qiu and his flower



1.An Xin (Regaining Peace of Mind) was a reconstruction programme launched by Dr. Long Di of Institute of Psychology of CAS and her team, the An Xin Team (Regaining Peace of Mind Team) for Beichuan High School with PCD’s support. It included activities such as “group story telling” during which students were encouraged to share their stories of recovery after the disaster. This article is the story told by Deng Yangqiu during the programme.