Thursday, January 15, 2009


Yesterday I had a really interesting experience.
About a week ago, I was reading someone's blogpost for the day, and she had posted pictures of trees and plants and things, and I commented something like "Oh, since seeing this, I have to get outside - to see things, and smell things, and touch things!" I hadn't even realized that I had missed it, even though it probably had only been a few of days since I'd played outside.

Then yesterday morning I knew that Outside was on my list for the day again. After we whiled away the morning with experiments, during which time our part of the earth warmed up, we headed outside.
Because I wanted my camera for the playground after the children's bikeride at the church, I had no choice but to leave the batteries behind charging, as my extra set was in our truck - which Eric had.

I'm not even sure that I can say this without sounding cooky - but it was so cool!
Since my eyes weren't darting and capturing things - potentially a photo things - somehow I was more engaged with the Outside. Maybe 'more' isn't the right word - but differently engaged.

Instead of touching things as I usually do - with my eyes and heart and spirit - I touched them with my bare hands. I rubbed pinecones, and ran my fingers through long pine needles. I stroked trees and felt the difference in their bark. I rubbed the tall cement that made up the base of the lamppost, and put my hand to my nose to see if I could smell it.
Everything was so different.

I hadn't even considered before that I was missing out on anything.
I think maybe that's one of the things that winter does to us - we keep our hands in our pockets or our mittens. Our feet are bound into thick socks and burley boots. We're padded and stuffed, and have a thick layer of "can't touch" around us.

I felt really alive -springtime alive- with my altered awareness of Outside.
I'll definitely be remembering this bit of therapy.

If you're feeling disconnected or out of sorts - I highly recommend prodding off your gloves for a minute and touching the world.


Mon said...

lol, that IS cool.

Isn't funny what we take for granted?

I would still think you still touched with your spirit, but this time it was engaged differently.

I love getting my hands dirty. Touching the soil is a spiritual experience.

Gorgeous. said...

How wonderful! Sometimes I feel when I have my camera, I'm only seeing such a small part of what is happening, and without it I am forced to participate more fully, am more engaged and I must make more of an effort to put the event into my memory rather than having pictures to look at!! ( sorry, got totally distracted there... not sure I'm making sense....!!)

denise said...

I love touching things, seeing things. I always realize that my gloves are in my pocket (well, I lost my gloves last winter and don't have any yet this one), my sunglasses on my head, my camera flipped to my back so I can bend over. Never can get close enough, don't like to be separated from things. The artist in me.

Of course my kids are like, yeah yeah yeah mom, we, know, BARK. ;)

It is true though, that changing a situation, changing your perspective, or changing your routine just makes things seem more there, pop more, and come into focus. I love that.

Stephanie said...

I see that all three of you understand perfectly. :) How nice.

Pam said...

Quite simply, meditative and cathartic.

I've been missing the simplicity of nature.

Thank you for sharing this experience.

kath001 said...

Oh, Steph. Why do you make me pause and ponder on days when I need to be churning through chores? Your comment on winter keeping us insulated made me say to myself, "But that's the great thing about winter! In winter my natural (year round) inclinations to 'burrow in' are seen as the norm instead of detaching from people/places/things. I'm comfortable with my insulating layers." I'm going to have to let this steep for awhile.

Molly said...

i can relate to this - i sometimes forget to go outside and enjoy what nature has to offer during winter. i tend to hover around the woodstove. yet it's really not that cold outside - it's more of a mind set.

ladybug-zen said...

right on sister!

ladybug-zen said...

oh yea! i almost forgot. i've left you a little something over at collecting leaves...and no it's not hte same award you shared with me :)
have a great day

Lori said...

i agree so much .. i have really put the camera down this year and just experienced the moment instead of thinking about capturing it on film. without it i feel so much more relaxed!

Bella said...

Such a great experience to share ! We're lucky enough to have the park right outside so I often wander out the front door and lean up against a tree to feel the texture and the coolness against my face. We all find connecting with nature grounding in a secure and calm way but also freeing for the spirit inside. If any of us get stressed out we can often be found hugging a tree x