I had a Grandfather who watched nature very carefully - and likewise his son (my Dad) does the same. I didn't always pay attention to their predictions based on what they were observing from nature - but I did become someone who does enjoy watching the world around me - just for the pure pleasure of what I am seeing.
And I am not talking about people. Personally, I don't find a lot of pleasure in people at all - unless it is a child, or someone I love.
No I am talking about the pleasure of watching a bird at a feeder, or a tree when it shakes itself awake in early spring and decides to shoot green from it's brown winter branches. Snow when it melts - it is so pretty how it sweats itself away - even ice, that we have come to detest so much - it is beautiful ... the colours within it, the veins running through it...... Frost - there is nothing prettier than frost!
There is much to see out there, if you open your eyes and take it all in.
Look up - can you believe that beautiful deep blue up there? You can't get that particular colour from any can...
While you are looking, don't forget to listen!
I know all about listening in the city. I used to stand outside in the dark mornings of winter and wait at the curb while Gary went to fetch the car from the back. I heard a lot of city noise... but I also heard the wind singing through the bare-limbed trees, and yes at that early morning hour I even heard the Sparrows in the shrubs across the street, waking up and having a chatter together about the new day - or whatever it is they are discussing at that time of the morning!
I am learning so much more about listening, here in the country. It is a lot harder to listen to quiet. One gets mesmerized by the silence - but sound is still present there too.
The other night I had Molly out for her last potty break after 11pm. It was dark, except for our bright light over the door, and the Christmas lights that are still lit around our little barn shed. There was no wind noise - but I knew there was a bit of wind, because the buckle on the rope on the flagpole was ever so gently tapping on the metal pole. Ping, Ping, Ping.
If I stopped huffing my breath for a second -I could faintly hear my neighbour's wind chime about 400 ft away, just barely making a sound. Tink, Tink, Tink. And yes - ever so faintly somewhere ( perhaps in the evergreens that border my property) birds were quietly saying good night.
I might have missed all these sounds, had I not been listening to the silence around me.
We have senses for a reason. Sight, Sound, Smell. Do we use them for anything exceptional? I don't think so - we take them for granted, that's what we do.
Take them outside, give them some exercises.. you might be pleasantly surprised how wonderful you will feel after you do this.
Of course if you live anywhere near me , you might want to wait a day or two to take those senses outside. We had a blizzard here last night, and although the sun is shinning brightly deceiving us into believing that spring is near, it is frigid cold with a wind chill that will freeze skin in here minutes. The only thing we are going to be feeling outside today is frustration, and maybe a little bit of pain...if we stay out too long!