Tune into your surroundings

I was born in the windy prairie state of Iowa and was raised in the breezy gulf state of Florida. My earliest memories of Florida are of tumbling in the salty waves of the Gulf of Mexico and emerging from the water to find seaweed tangled around my ankles, sand in my swim suit and salt in my eyes. I couldn’t have been happier. The natural world has always held a significant place in my heart and soul.

As I tune into my surroundings, I often become aware of a wisdom that lifts my individual experiences into a greater experience of connection on the human level. For example, as a family we pooled our money to support the rehabilitation of a Red-tail hawk that had been hit by a truck. As the rehabilitation specialist reached out her gloved hand to release the bird, the rest of us–eyes wide and eyebrows raised–waited to see if Prince Timber would fly. Watching him return to his natural habitat changed my perception of “letting go.”

Spending time outdoors awakens my senses and helps me create sensory scenes in my writing. It also helps me develop a keen eye for detail in composing photographs and poetry. I’ve been inspired to write a letter to a flower and an apology to a walnut tree. I like to think of my connection to nature as reciprocal and have created art projects from items found in nature. I often leave them in nature as a gift.

May you connect or reconnect to nature to open doors to health, creativity and wonder. And, may your ordinary outdoor stroll turn into a meaningful, memorable excursion.

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