Here in the UK we have gone from every day sunshine to endless rain. I heard it is the tail end of the insane temperatures being felt around the world. It's happening isn't it? As we see/feel/hear/worry about our precious globe warming we all wonder "but what can I do?"
To try and help me answer that question I recently I joined the Making Design Circular membership which is an online community of designer/makers all figuring out how they can make their practices more sustainable. It's wonderful to be working alongside others with a common goal. The membership has many courses to work through such as Waste - a masterclass, to look at what you can do with your waste stream, The Seed to identify your unique roll in environmentalism, Net Zero to calculate your carbon footprint and more. I started lightly with a mini course called 'Cultivating Hope' which shares 'three simple steps to help you reconnect with your optimism so you can feel better and make a difference'. Part of this course was a practice to connect with nature using all the senses and this really spoke to me.
You know I'm pretty good at finding my connection, that's what my 'something I have noticed' is all about, but doing this very specific thing and remembering to include my lesser used senses took it to another level. So the idea is simple. You go outside, or even just look out of the window if you can't get out and you look for:
Five things you can see.
Four things you can hear.
Three things you can feel.
Two things you can smell.
And one thing you can taste.
This practice guides your attention away from your mind, your to-do list and your worries and quickly brings you to your connection with nature. I've been doing it whenever I'm walking but this was once specific session I had last week with my camera in tow. I thought I'd share it with you.
Five things I saw:
Patterns on the sycamore leaves as the light shone through. As I looked more closely I realised they were greenfly, gone home to roost (?). Once I'd seen one tree, I noticed they were all like that. It was something I had never seen before.
I saw crayfish pincers on the river beach and noticed how the sycamore seed was trying to fit in!
A rosebay willowherb was still reaching for the sky even though its stem had become so bent. What a fighter!
I saw so many that had burst into flower and were buzzing with bees.
I saw this beautiful pink dog rose. How joyful.
Four things I heard:
Insects buzzing, the river rushing, my boots stomping on the path and a wren trilling
Three things I felt:
The gentle breeze on my face, the cold water as I put my hands in the river and my nervous system slowing down.
Two things I smelled:
A patch of nettles and a man's strong aftershave that lingered all the way down the path! I preferred the nettles thank you very much.
One thing I tasted:
I thought this one would be a challenge but I found the last raspberry on a bush! I couldn't believe my luck. I liked finding a way to taste the woods.
The Cultivating Hope course is free and available to everyone to do anytime so you can join in too if you like.
P.S I found out that although most aphids like to hang around in clumps on top of each other, the ones on the sycamore leaves like to be close to others but very much with their own space around them! They will arrange themselves like this even if there are only a few on the leaf. Isn't nature fascinating!