Recently, I read about the introduction of intensive care cocoons in a Brisbane hospital. Alarmingly, up to 80% of ICU patients suffer from frightening episodes of delirium while in intensive care. ICU delirium is caused by many factors, but is exacerbated by the noise, light, and sleep deprivation experienced in such places. Interestingly, one of the ways the cocoons reduce delirium is by screening peaceful scenes of nature, helping to put patients at ease.
It’s healthy to connect with nature – even if it’s only on a screen.
Earlier in the term our Year 4 students connected with nature in a host of hands-on ways! This year’s annual camp was hosted by one of our sister schools, Good Shepherd Lutheran College at Hamilton in the western district of Victoria. Because this school is also a working farm, students were given the opportunity to bottle-feed baby calves, pick up yabbies (freshwater crayfish), see cattle being weighed, collect eggs, nurse chickens, pat piglets, hand-feed horses, give carrots to alpacas and watch sheep being shorn. It was like visiting a giant petting zoo for two whole days! Our students loved it! There was so much to try and experience.
In so many ways the camp was a celebration of creation, reminding me of one of my favourite Psalms: The earth is filled with the things God has made. God let the earth produce grass for cattle, plants for our food, wine to cheer us up, olive oil for our skin, and grain for our health (Psalm 104:13-15).