9 for Nature

I want to encourage anyone who reads this post to go outside for at least 9 minutes. Take a break. Touch some tree bark. Take your shoes off and wiggle your toes in the grass or the sand or even into some loamy soil.

It’s been a full & sometimes hectic 2 weeks since my boy has been out of school. I haven’t had as much time to just melt into nature as usual…so the last couple of weeks have felt off-balance. This morning, I went for a bike ride and stopped off at this small park in the northwest corner of town. There’s a beautiful, quiet strand of oak, maple, and elm trees that tower some 60 feet in the air. It isn’t huge, but when you need oxygen, it’s enough. Sunshine streamed through the trees. The balmy summer air kissed my skin.

My head has been full of travel plans, essays, articles, political rants about Sarah Palin, questions about feminism and motherhood, grief over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the transitions of dear friends moving, the excitement of weddings and births…the fullness and busyness of life. But, at some point, the thinking has to stop and the connecting with the deeper cosmos has to begin. Our bodies are lightning rods for experience.

So, 9 minutes for nature. (And if the experience goes longer than 9 minutes…? Awesome.) Try this:

1. Open the window, a door. Feel the sunshine on your face.

2. Listen for a bird. Who is it? How do they sound? Can you whistle that? Will they whistle back?

3. Touch a summer leaf. Feel the veins, the edges.

4. Rub the leaves of a tomato plant. Smell the sharp scent on your fingers.

5. Lie down on the grass, rest your weight upon the earth.

6. Go surfing. (This one’s for you, Sis.)

7. Sit on a park bench. Be still. Feel the world swirl past you. Be still. Hear the silence beneath the noise. *Breathe*

8. Take a walk around the block. Notice flower boxes. Notice gardens in your neighborhood.

9. Look up. At the sky. At clouds. At the moon that lingers in the morning. At the sparrows or sea gulls or hawks or June bugs. Feel the air thrumming with life.

Nature calls…even in small doses…

~ MGB

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