This morning, I sat on my front deck to meditate. Since the spring here is still rather cool, I took my favorite multi-colored striped blanket to wrap around my legs. Refreshing cool air washed across my face. A light rain trickled off the roof, pattered on the lake, and dripped from tree branches.
As I focused my breath, I saw loons, ducks, tree sparrows, and a kingfisher winging their way across the water. When I closed my eyes and listened carefully, I heard robins, sparrows, chickadees, finches, woodpeckers, flickers, blue jays, crows, and even a rooster crowing somewhere across the lake.
Afterward, I got to thinking about how we use our senses to show details in our stories. We can call up memories: the earthy dampness of rain on the lawn reminded me of childhood days playing outdoors on the farm, rain or shine. We can set mood: clouds wrapped the sky in a soft gray blanket and reflected off the still early morning water. We can help our reader imagine the scene: All the birds chirping, tapping, and shouting good morning, instilled a deep appreciation for everything Mother Nature offers us.
Try this no matter where you are or what you’re doing — sitting in a coffee shop, watching television, playing with your children, or whatever activity keeps you busy during the day. Be mindful. Stop and pay attention, with all your senses, to what’s going on around you. You might want to write them down in your notebook for future reference when you’re writing.
Take… No… Make time to enjoy nature and appreciate your life’s experiences. You might be surprised at the information your senses give you if you focus on what’s around you.