Sunday, February 1, 2009

In Tune

These birds were singing outside my back door this afternoon. I think it is so easy to forget that we are animals, too. We are a part of nature. Sure, I recycle and use eco-friendly ice melt and compost and use eco-friendly soaps and cleaning products. That isn't the same as being in tune with the natural world around you and taking time to really observe it closely. Especially living so close to Boston, it is easy for me to pass by the natural miracles occurring every day.

Part of my grade in my Changing Views of Nature in American Literature class is to be out observing nature for 20 minutes a day, twice a week. I went out into my tiny paved backyard edged with plants and trees and bordered by the park on one side at 4:00 this afternoon. I took photos first and then set my camera aside and sat in my beach chair watching and feeling the sun on my face and listening to the birds chirping and the snow melting.

I went up to the trees and felt their bark and their leaves and their needles. I looked inside the dried brown flowers on the Rose of Sharon and found fuzzy seeds or space where they used to be. I noted where the sun was in the sky and where and why the southeast corner of the yard is still slick with ice.

I thought about Spring which is so much nearer than it seems. Soon the snow will melt and seep into the earth feeding the trees at their roots. The sun will rise higher in the sky and everything will turn green.


  1. You know, I live in the country and I bet I don't take any more time than you do to look at the natural world around me. It's always, rush, rush. The rare moments I do, I feel like you described and it's a good feeling. We need to remember it and do it more often. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. You should enable email notification, I like to be notified when there are responses. : )

  3. Sandra, How do I do that? Where do i find it in my settings? If you let me know, I am happy to enable it. Thanks!

  4. This is the project I most envy for your class. I agree that it's so easy to get caught up in the routine of "living" that we don't really see the world around us. Enjoy this! I love that you were feeling the bark. I did that a few years ago at a park near my house and it was really interesting to see that the trees which look so similar from a distance are really so very different.

    Thanks a million too for your last post. I'm honored :)

  5. Your class sounds wonderful - I think I would love it. I try to take my kids out to a local public garden as often as possible, to draw and look and listen...


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