Sometimes, we need to get in the right frame of mind to perform tasks that must be done. For me, today was that kind of day. Whenever I need to regroup, mentally, emotionally speaking, I know that getting outside and paying attention to nature helps me to put ideas, plans, and actions into perspective. Prioritize and move!
As I sat and listened and started noticing nature all around me, even here in the ‘burbs, I thought of a chapter of a book I read many years ago, “A List of Nothing in Particular” from the book Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat Moon.
In an expanse of desert in Texas, Least Heat Moon sat and sought to make sense of his surroundings, an area that, according to him, people referred to as “there’s nothing out there.” He stopped his van near a mesa and just started listing.
That’s what I did today, trying to make sense of where I am heading with my writing — well, really with how anyone is ever going to know that I write or what I write. After not feeling anything in particular, I got outside and just started recording the following passage. I liked it. It ended up…well, I will tell you after you read what I gleaned from outside:
Sitting outside because I just had to — not because it’s a gorgeous, golden-sunned, azure blue sky swept with wispy cirrus clouds; not because the cardinals call along with the sparrows and wrens as they all busily flit from tree to tree —two sparrows sparring with one another; not because the green of this mid-spring day is so fresh against the sky, houses, and brown wooden privacy fence; not because the chiding squirrels make me smile; not because my magnificent white puppies bask in this outside; not because the robins chat at me about the new growth spreading all around; not because the busy brown and white chipmunk comically dashes from cover to cover, avoiding the dogs; not because the mourning dove, my muse, occasionally coos or flits helter-skelter from the oak to the pear. No, I’m here, outside, because I simply need to escape the confines of inside, the rising panic I sometimes feel when I’m not sure — of things, some things, everything, maybe nothing. Okay, maybe I am here, outside for all these things. This has made me think of William Least Heat Moon and his “A List of Nothing in Particular” from Blue Highways. I pause to read that chapter. Sometimes nothing in particular leads to SOMETHING VERY SPECIFIC! I’LL GO IN NOW!
My outside time with Nature led to appreciation of life and the messages we can perceive, the clarity we can gain, the inspiration to motivate us to action. What did I do? I achieved a significant amount of revision work on my novel, The Fellowship of the Heart. I was energized by it. I also meditated, prayed significantly. Ultimately, that time of just absorbing, observing, and recording nothing in particular resulted in a very productive day, including this post.
Most importantly, such personal Nature encounters allow us to commune more easily with our own hearts. In order to do that, our egos have to be shut down or bypassed, and zoning out on nature effectively does that. Then, we can whisper in inner dialog or softly aloud, “What do I need to be focused on? Where should I go from here? What action do I take the moment I rise from this chair?” Or any of a hundred different questions. Feel the breeze brush across your arms and through your hair, hear the voices of the birds, see the colors of life — let it wash over you and listen for that heart response.
Yes, I highly recommend Personal Nature Encounters for stepping back and taking stock of the big picture and determining what little steps you can take a minute later to paint that heart picture on the canvas of your life.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!