We often take quiet walks together but when it is an intentional thing it seems to heighten the senses. I found today that stopping and being still is even better than just walking quietly.
When you stop and are still it gives time for the birds and little animals to come out from hiding and perhaps let you glimpse them. In my case, I was able to see some woodpeckers chasing each other from tree to tree. I heard the squirrels chattering in the trees alongside the trail that I hadn’t heard before.
I stood silently for perhaps five minutes, looking out over a little meadow area where the trees have lost all their leaves and the snow is still a bit patchy. I could feel the warm air in the sunshine as it blew just ever so slightly on my face.
I heard lots of different birds: nuthatches, jays, a flicker in the distance. I also hear the wings of a bird flutter in the bushes.
The walking trail was still covered mostly in snow and ice except where the sun had melted it away. We were alone on the trail all the way out to the road landmark where we usually turn around. I noticed the edges of the trail had lots and lots of freshly fallen acorns. I thought about how the animals in the forest seem to always have a food supply even if the weather is freezing cold.
We smelled the air several times…dampness, creosote from the old train tracks, oak leaves.
The trees made long shadows in the afternoon sun…the shadow of a bird flying overhead caught my eye as we stood along the trail.
This kind of walk refreshes like no other. I know that if you have little ones along on your walk it is a bit challenging to have quiet but it is worth a try. Challenge yourself to experience the quiet of the outdoors. You don’t have to go far or be gone for long periods of time. If your children are not accustomed to being outside, you will need to gradually earn their trust about how much fun it can be.
Most children today are not comfortable just getting outside and walking…they get bored easily. All the more reason to not procrastinate getting outside as a family to learn the benefits of just how much it can heal your spirit and body.
You will not regret it.
I also wanted to share a book with you in this entry. I mentioned it in the newsletter but it is worth sharing again with you.
We pulled out all our national park literature and this one is our favorite. I love the park choices, the art work, and concise park descriptions. Try to find it at your public library or the next time you are at a national park gift shop. I love picking up books as souvenirs and this one is a good for inspiring future travel and sharing a love of the beautiful world we live in.
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