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Freeport, ME, June 9, 2021


When we’re hurrying to get from point A to point B, even in the most familiar of places, we often miss the little gifts of nature all around us. We’ve written before about how you can find the big in the small things through a change in perception. What is seemingly mundane, or even annoying like getting caught in an afternoon rain shower, can, with a little effort, become something more meaningful and restorative.

As the weather warms up across the country and the sun stays higher in the sky after school and work, it’s the perfect opportunity to turn your immediate world into a place of awe and adventure. It’s one thing to watch the sun rise, but it’s also possible, because awe is a state of mind, to cultivate it in our every day. One of the key conditions of awe is surprise or delight.

You and your family can create this sense of awe by seeing your neighborhood with new eyes. Can you spot the tallest tree on your street? Can you find all the yellow flowers as you stroll down the block? Can you count the number of different birds you see? What about the sounds? Can you stop and listen for the sounds of nature unique to your neighborhood?

These little prompts will fundamentally shift your point of view, allowing you to not only see your surrounding better, but also to reap benefits similar to those you get when hiking a nature trail—and you’re just outside your door!

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