Thursday, May 15, 2008

Four More Senses

Focus on each of your senses one at a time and experience the area with each. This allows you to enjoy the environment as a much more richly dimensional tapestry than just seeing alone. Pause to close your eyes and listen. You will find that the breeze causes the trees and leaves produce a wide range of sounds and that you can detect the varying speed of the breeze based on those sounds after a very short while. Leaves rustle, branches rub against each other, and trunks creak as they sway. You will hear much more wildlife than you thought present as you tease apart the calls of different kinds of birds and insects and maybe frogs. Turn your head to hear high and low and in each direction. The longer you listen, the more adept you will be at pulling nature sounds from the background of traffic and human made sounds and the animals sounds from the environment sounds.
Do not be afraid to touch things. Pick things up from the ground and feel their temperature, their moistness, their texture. Replace them as you found them. Touch leaves, feel the petals of flowers. My sons pet bumble bees. Hold a rock in your palm and feel its cool.
While you have those things in your hands, engage your nose. Smell the flowers, of course, but smell the leaves, giving them a little rub to release their oils. Smell the earth and the mosses and the damp side of the rock where it touched the ground. Smell the fallen leaves and the crumbling wood of the decaying log.
You can even taste nature with reasonable safety if you do it cautiously and in tiny doses. One way to do this is to rub a thing and then give your finger a tiny lick. You will find that the sap of some leaves have a bitter taste while some are more spicy. You can dip a fingertip in some flowers and actually find the sweet that the bees gather as nectar. Soil and rocks can be salty or sweet or bitter.
We have five senses but mostly we inhabit a world of vision only, so just by engaging the other four senses, we can have a richer experience of the natural world.

1 comment:

Paddle said...

Don't do this while driving a car or flying an airplane, right?