Thursday, February 14, 2008

Kick-Start Your Nature Study

The flu bludgeoned every single one of us in the Glaser household, and I think 30 Day Sit Spot Challenge will renew our dizzy, light-headed spirits. Even Steve aka Whirlwind spent three days in bed! I have not found the energy to do much, not even blog. My head gets fuzzy and weak when I think too hard. Maybe if I can just sit and enjoy God's creation, my creative juices might start flowing again. . .

Rain (or snow), or shine, night or day, blindfolded or sighted, go to that beautiful place and the sky's the limit. Do a sense meditation. Stalk up on the black cat that stalks the winter wrens. Dance. Build a fire. Whatever it is that you do when you go there, just do it! Even if you're traveling, sit somewhere each day.

I figure if I announce our intentions on the blog it will inspire us to (a) stick with it and (b) get back into blogging after this flu-induced hiatus. What do you have to do?

(1) DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!!!!! The challenge starts tomorrow, going from February 15, 2008 to March 15, 2008.

(2) Pick a secret spot. I'm going to make it easy. Ours will be our backyard. We have three rockers on the back porch so we can sit AND rock! Our yard is full of all kinds of possibilities: cats wandering in our yard, squirrels, cardinals, robins, little brown blobs (sparrows and finches), tons of purple martins, blooming camellia bushes (that now look like trees), falling pecans big and small plonking on the metal roof and rolling down to the ground, . . . What is a secret spot?
A Sit Spot (also known as a Secret Spot) is simply a place to go in the woods, or even your back porch, and sit. It doesn’t have to be all that special to start with. You make it special, and secret, by sitting in it – time after time. Find one place in your natural world that you visit all the time and get to know it as your best friend. Let this be a place where you learn to sit still – alone, often, and quietly -- as well as playfully explore beyond. This will become your place of intimate connection with nature.

(3) Send an email to the challenge folks so the Wilderness Awareness School can put you on the challenge map. It looks like we are the ONLY people in Carolina to join! WOW! We are ambassadors!

(4) Get out your nature study materials: bird books, nature notebooks, drawing things, cameras (if you are not artistically inclined), magnifying lens, binoculars, etc. We keep ours in a backpack for hikes in the woods.

(5) Share your experiences. Blog it! Email it! Post it! I would love to read about what you do.

(6) For a great way to kick it off, join the Great Backyard Bird Count, which goes from February 15 to February 18. To quote my friend Queen Mum, "If you can't find 15 minutes to sit and watch the birds. . . you are MUCH to busy!!!"

Why is nature study an important element of education? Check out how nature study affects the brain in Carroll Smith's slide show from last year's conference which is now available as a free audio file. He saved the best for last in this wonderful presentation: the Redemptive Nature of Nature Study.

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