11
Mar
2016
0

Playing with Our Natural Habits

Up in the air and over the top of the tree til I can see so far. ~Mary Alice, age 5

Play in the Everyday: Natural Habits

Each day I take a nature walk. Going back to the same place again and again may seem boring to some. For me, it is a reflective practice that helps me deepen my relationship with the natural world and the place I call home.

Daily Nature Walks

There is nothing usual about my daily walks. I walk for miles some days. Other days I walk with Lila, now almost 10-months-old and we stop to sniff and take in the smells all around us.

Right now there is a great deal of pollen in the air. Living in the Northwest we have a good bit of rain or we have overcast skies so musty and damp are common smells to whiff.

I frequently see quail and deer and a variety or roaming dogs and cats. Lila is always eager to play with all of the friends she sees on our walks together whether four-legged, winged, or two-legged but they are not always so eager to play with her!

When I look up and out I see mountains and water just about at every turn. What I see changes quickly. There is nothing static about our relationship. Mountain, Water, Tree, Four-Legged, Winged Ones, and many others along the way converse with me and I listen. I don’t always hear or I don’t know their language–I am always eager to hear what they have to say. I know very little in comparison to what Nature knows and can share with me at every turn.

Its Really Good For Me

There are days when I am involved with writing or have something else to do–

once I am out the door

there is no going back, movement takes over and I’m totally in! realizing just how much I en-joy each and every moment of my walks. I’m re-energized when I return to my writing or whatever I was involved in before leaving home. AND I haven’t missed out on all the wonder and awe I experience as I walk–create deepening, soulful relationships with place and the natural world.

Sometimes I see evidence of broken relationships with nature. Trees cut down, garbage haphazardly thrown on the side of the road and scattered in fields. Animals mistreated. When I witness brokenness of this sort I remember,

Since we are inclined to care and protect who and what we love, ‘falling in love’ with the natural world…is a key ingredient for creating a peaceful, healthy and just world…it’s critical to find those places that stir our awe and wonder. ~Zoe Weil, Institute for Humane Education President

Playing Outdoors is a Priority

It is now my playful habit to walk daily. Often I take my camera along. Being the photographer places me in the position of witness and recorder. 

Sometimes I take a small notebook with me or carry along a portable watercolor kit so I can paint. You might see me recording some of my thoughts as an audio file or creating a small video to share. Talking with another walker or stopping to share a treat with one of the dogs or horses along the way.

Some ‘play notes’ from my journal:

I don’t feel as safe here as I use to

I’m out of breath. Can I outlast them? Outrun them?

Oh, I can move past that obstacle easily

I’m all for greater play-diversity in my habit-[at].

Want to create some new playful habits of your own?

THE PLAYFUL JOURNEY RETREAT is a half-day gathering that can be accessed by phone from wherever you are.The Playful…

 

 

 

 

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