The idea is simple: guide people to find a special place in nature and then become comfortable with just being there, still and quiet. In this place, the lessons of nature will seep in.
Expanding Sensory Awareness
For nature connection, we use only one golden rule: notice everything. Get down in the dirt and feel it.
Questioning and Tracking
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Like peering through a window into wildlife, tracking animals can be endlessly fascinating.
Observe animals to see how the animals walk, run, eat, dance, and then in games model those animal forms.
Wander through the landscape without time, destination, agenda, or future purpose; be present in the moment; and go off-trail wherever curiosity leads.
Orient to the compass directions, and perceive the landscape from a bird’s eye view. Draw maps to locate features of the landscape or tell stories that map your explorations.
Exploring Field Guides
Field Guides facilitate further learning and inquiry. A field guide is a book designed to help the reader identify wildlife (plants or animals) or other objects in the natural world.
Stories can be told to a journal. This might be done through drawing or art, or writing, depending on the skill and interest of the author/artist. Journals are a great way to record experiences with sit spot, create personal field guides, or keep seasonal records.
Nothing gives us more meaningful relationships with nature than really putting ourselves out in the elements and living off the land. It creates the ultimate need to learn.
Mind’s Eye Imagining
Use and strengthen your imagination as much as possible, imprinting images in your mind to gather from the experience of all five senses. This routine develops our imagination and our ability to re-experience events with our eyes closed.
How is “Thanksgiving” a routine for nature awareness? If we all find in yourself a grateful heart and express gratitude for any and all aspects of nature and life, if we begin every episode with thanksgiving and give nods of thanks as you go about your day, then we will redevelop the connections that our ancestors had to have to survive.
Story of the day
Story telling knits the society together. The men would go out for a day of tracking and hunting, while grandmothers and children might harvest berries, root vegetables, or bark to make thread and cloth.
Listening for Bird Language
Be still and listen. Quiet down and crane your ears and eyes to notice the vocal signals and body language of birds and other animals, including humans. What message do you hear in their voice?