It blows my mind that it is already just 5 days until the summer solstice! How can that be?
Is it just me, or do you feel like time speeds up with the more hours of daylight we have? Somehow life gets so much busier in the summer. I guess we just try to cram in all the things we can do into the daylight hours. And once the kids are out of school – forget about it! Any free time you thought you had just vanishes like all the good snacks.
Since we are all short on time, I’ll keep this post short and sweet.
First, I want to remind you that you are doing enough.
Secondly, I want to share a simple trick I use to carve out some slower snippets of time amid the chaos. You can do this with your kids too and it can help you both slow down.
- Find something in nature that makes you feel curiosity, awe, or wonder.
- Observe that thing for a little while.
- Notice your feelings and what you can learn just from observing. (No need to take notes or do anything else – just notice.)
That’s it. Simple, right?
As you might know, I have an advanced degree in ecology. And now I’m a full-time artist. You might wonder how these things are related. For me art and science are super intertwined.
I have always felt that studying nature is a way of honoring it.
Just noticing the things that make me curious and inspired enough to draw or collage them is my way of practicing a sort of reverence and devotion. It most definitely helps me slow down and notice. And that gives me the feeling of more space or time.
Here’s a recent example…
I started keeping honeybees this spring.
This has been on my bucket list for years. And now the timing worked out for me to do it. One of the most calming things I can do in a day is to take my coffee out into my yard and sit near my beehive and watch the bees. That’s it. Super simple, right? Sometimes I only have 5 minutes with the bees. And yet, it is so grounding when I have a jam-packed day ahead of me. I love it. How does this work?
The bees teach me that it only takes a moment of pause to gather what you need. In doing so, you end up giving back to the world.
Honeybees zip from flower to flower pretty quickly. They usually don’t spend a lot of time at each bloom. But with each pause they make, they gather what they need (nectar or pollen) and serve the flower too (pollination). It’s a win-win!
For us, taking a moment to notice, observe, or learn about something in nature is just like the bee making a pit stop at a flower. We don’t have to spend a long time doing it, but just taking a moment to connect with the natural world is enough. It reminds us where we came from, grounds us in awe/wonder, and inspires us to honor our connections. Then we buzz off into our day pollinating our world with a little more integrity.
You don’t have to be in nature to do this. You can just close your eyes for a minute and remember a thing in nature that inspires you. I believe it has the same effect.
I hope this helps. And if have any tricks for finding moments of reprieve in the chaos, I’d love to hear them.
Finally, I just wanted to let you know that I don’t have any adult classes in the works for the summer. I find that getting adults to commit to taking a summer art class is sort of like getting a 3 year old to choose what color cup they want their juice in (“The red cup. NO! I said the green cup!”). It’s just so dang hard for folks to chOose an activity and stick with it. I get it. So I’ll resume classes in the fall.
In the meantime, I’m scheming on hosting an in-person retreat weekend or nature art day-camp for adults this fall. So if you’ve got ideas regarding themes, projects, or locations, please let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
With gratitude and love,