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  • Writer's pictureAram Mitchell

outside the window

You have an innate capacity for attention. That’s part of your birthright as a human, as a mammal concerned with meaning. A variety of sensations come awake after you’ve been immersed for a good chunk of time among relatively undisturbed natural areas.

If you can’t find an undisturbed natural area, then even a disturbed one will do. I read once that Oscar Wilde defined “nature” as “a place where birds fly around uncooked”. I’m sitting at the desk in my basement beneath the window that looks up at the pine tree in the side yard, and I can hear some birds enjoying their uncooked state of being outside the window as the world wakes up.

If you can’t find a good chunk of time, then even a slight chunk will do. Looking at a cloud through the window for two minutes, you might not find the same perspective you will after a twenty minute stroll through the park, or a two day hike through the forest. But each increment of attention holds value in the process of honing your relationship with wild nature, and your capacity to soften your gaze, to let your skin attune to the pulse of the community of life around you.

The frenzy will subside, maybe not right away or every time, but it will eventually and regularly, don’t rush it. Just take the breath at hand, look at this cloud, heed this birdsong. Just that for now.

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