Secrets to discovering spring’s subtle beauty
Spring is a fleeting season — the world around us seems to transform from a barren brown landscape to lush greenery overnight. But to catch spring in the act, you need to slow down and open up your senses. Here are a few ways you can get a closer connection with nature and witness spring’s subtle beauty.
· Disconnect · Leave your phone on the charger and go outside. Taking time to get away from blue screens allows you to relax and opens you up to your other senses.
· Sit spots · Let yourself be drawn to a location in your backyard or any green space. Settle in, breathe deeply, and just observe. No need to think, just be. Begin with 5 minutes. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you: are the noises human or nature created? Are the sounds nearby or at a distance? No need to identify, just listen. Let your nose tell you what else to notice – dampness in the air, soil, flowers. Sitting on the ground is best, but if that isn’t the best option for your body, put out a chair you can return to. Try to take time for your sit spot every day, once you get used to sitting and observing, wildlife also gets used to you being there. Soon you will get to observe birds, squirrels, and chipmunks going about their day instead of hurrying away from your presence.
· Journaling · Whether from your window or your sit spot, taking notes on what you see plugs you into the pulse of the Earth. Noting changes day-to-day of swelling buds, flower blooms, and leaf-out of red maple verses sugar maple trees is a way to get into the rhythm of seasonal changes. Keep your journal going and be treated to see how one year differs from the next.
· Mapping · In your sit spot, bring your journal or notepad and make a map of your yard from a bird’s eye perspective. Include trees, shrubs, flowers and any other interesting points. Include and encourage your kids to help! An additional step after the map has been made, is to sit in different locations and listen. After a few minutes, come together and figure out what activity everyone witnessed and where it was on the map – which way the blue jay was flying or where the squirrel was digging up its stored acorn.
· Thanksgiving · This is an amazing positive boost in your day! Take a few moments to think about or thank the parts of nature you enjoy or admire. The more you do, the longer your list will grow. You will not only feel a growing connection with nature, but an upwelling of positivity!