We went for a walk at the Audubon center this morning. It was an overcast day in an autumn landscape. At first glance, aside from the sweeping views of the field and the river beyond, it seemed there wouldn’t be much to see. At least not when compared to earlier in the season when so many birds flitted one way then another, flowers were blooming, turtles skimmed the pond, and the grasses grew tall and green.
Today the only green offered was harbored in the pine trees on the field’s edge. And it was unusually quiet. We spotted just one crow, another (unidentifiable) small bird, and in the distance by the river, a flock of seagulls. So many of the birds have migrated, the flowers and grasses have gone dormant, and there’s a chill in the air that seeks and settles in the gap of an open collar.
But there is beauty and intrigue to be found. Close up and at a distance if you look for it.
Red berries on bare twigs. The lilt of the marsh grass. And scat deposited on the edge of a well worn path. Yep, we’re talking poop. Pretty sure it didn’t come from a dog because they’re not allowed. And with all the berries in it, it was most likely fox droppings. Two sightings ... of poop, not the fox, unfortunately.
The walk was a bit of forest bathing; immersion in the natural landscape. Even though we weren’t in the forest, we focused on the landscape, the sky, the air, plants (and yes, poop), and nothing else. No worries about what to cook for dinner, the news, or impending chores. In return, we found what we were looking for ... calm in an otherwise hectic world.
We may not be able to visit or travel these days, but if we get out and explore what's close to home, there’s no telling what we might see and share ... in a letter, a phone call, or Zoom event.
Is there a park, walkway, stretch of beach, or field where you can go to get outside? Where you can watch, listen, and let nature wash over you? Go.
It will make you feel better and give you the scoop on new things to talk about.
Ann Elise Davison
11/22/2020 03:48:53 pm
This week I'm going to try out a newish coffee shop in the nearby town. Yes, we have to drive 20 minutes to get to a coffee shop...but I'm excited to give this small business a whirl and to share about it with friends near and far.
Hi Ann! If it takes 20 minutes to get to the coffee shop, I'm guessing it's a scenic ride. So nice to support local businesses. All summer long we did the same, drove about 20 minutes, but to a farm stand. Now that the seasons have changed and it's closed, we miss them.
11/22/2020 04:10:53 pm
My husband and I have been setting aside one day a week to go on an excursion together. Most have been outdoors to stay safe. We’ve visited a National Park we are lucky to have practically in our backyard, beaches nearby, and several local public gardens we were aware of, but had never before taken time to visit. We now have plans to return to those gardens at least once each season, to see the varying flora blooming. With life slowing down due to the virus, it has given us time to explore new places close to home!
11/23/2020 10:18:43 am
11/24/2020 05:37:35 am
Your article was beautifully relaxing. Why do I feel more busy during an isolated pandemic? Kind of an oxymoron because, yes, I would feel more busy (read stressed). Great reminders, Christine. Thank you for sharing :)
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