We use the calendar to remind us of important things, celebrating as an event what we could (dare I say, should) celebrate daily!
This post is timed to align with Earth Day however, the ideas can be embraced beyond 24 hours of gratitude once a year—expanding this small window of time to integrate a daily habit of celebrating earth.
Simple habits are the easiest to adopt and often grow into rituals which resonate lasting value.
1. It’s worth the early start. Photographers rise early to catch the first rays of dawn, and patiently wait for the golden hour at the end of a day. They do this to capture nature in all it’s glory: before the atmosphere clammers with noise and distractions, in a crisp state where subtle discoveries can be observed and the world is fresh with promise. Then, as dusk approaches life unwinds to a slower pace, glowing gently like a lullaby before bed.
You don’t need to be a photographer to make a habit of greeting and farewelling the day with reverence.
2. Food tastes better outside. Remember the salty crunch of hot chips by the beach? Biting into a fresh sourdough under the shade of sprawling canopy? Nature has a calming quality that allows one to fully digest their meals. Flavours seem richer, textures more palpable, aromas deliciously amplified. It is a small pleasure one should afford themselves daily—if not for good digestion, for the rapture of savouring the full pleasures of nature’s bounty.
3. Smell a rose and wish upon a star. These sayings are not just for love stories or fairytales, they are simple habits worth forming. Little actions which remind us of earth’s beauty and magic, triggering the senses and imagination like an artists muse.
4. Discovery is a process. Curiosity leads to insights and space is not the only frontier… explore your neighbourhood, streets and gardens, architecture and infrastructure, harbour nature too! Wildlife has become surprisingly inventive, creating micro-habitats in odd places—look closer and you might find a family of fungi growing under a rotted paling, perhaps sparrows have nested in the awnings?
5. What’s your Talisman? Ancient cultures and modern boy wizards are fond of a good luck charm—an object which represents mystery and magic, courage and wisdom, heritage and hope. Touchstones which anchor the mind to a deeper purpose or meaning, though it doesn’t necessarily need to be a stone, perhaps a leaf glistening with the trail of a wayward snail? Each day you can choose one delight of nature to either carry, capture (in photo or drawing), or create something with (pine cone scent holder).
6. Screen to scene, stroll don’t scroll. The ubiquity of screens is a part of our digital culture but, as vital as they have become to work and communication there is a caveat which nature can counter. Eye strain creeps up on us as we swipe or text, scroll or search with intense un-blinking focus at a beacon of bluelight. Why not make a habit of breaking from bluelight to survey the world around you, training the eye on a distant tree, following the flight of a acrobatic bird, or deciphering forms in billowing sky. This exercises the eyes and is good for vision. It also triggers creativity and innovation, boosts productivity and ironically focus!
7. Retreat for your feet. We are encouraged to stand at our desks and to work longer, but did anyone ask our feet what they think about this stagnant imposition on their soles? I doubt it! There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, it’s been shown working longer doesn’t improve productivity nor does standing on a solid surface, in one spot for too long do our feet any good. To remedy a fallen arch or stiff ankle, flex your bare foot instincts: grip your toes into sand or soil, stretch your heel down over a log or stone, test your balance on undulating terrain.