In this time of quarantine and sheltering indoors, reconnecting with nature is most important. Exposure to the natural world can help with feelings of deep connection, clarity, serenity, peace, joy, amazement, and rejuvenation. It helps maintain a healthy balance, and it is well documented that having a strong connection with nature and spending time attending to the natural world, gives us a heightened sense of well being and happiness. It is good for both our emotional and mental health. One can argue that it is good for our spiritual health as well.
Nature journaling, even if you are limited to the indoors, can be a healthy addition to your life. In our workshop, we will strive to reconnect. We will work from direct observation and from memory, recording through words and drawings what we remember, observe, and wonder about our chosen natural objects. With drawing the natural items, the aim is not to be perfectly realistic, but rather gaining insight upon close observations. We may gain greater appreciation from these reflections, and it is an enjoyable way to spend time. We may find that even in our homes we are more connected to nature than we had realized.
To participate, you do not need access to the outdoors (a yard or a balcony) although you may feel free to make use of those if they are available to you. You just need a pencil, a sheet of paper, and a few items from nature that most of us can find around our homes: a stone, shell, potted plant, a piece of fruit or a vegetable. By journaling, the natural world opens its immense beauty to us.
This group will meet on Sunday, June 21, from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm on Zoom. Please RSVP to AdultRE@UUSM.org, with Nature Journaling in the subject line.
A lifelong lover of the outdoors, Dorothy Steinicke has more than twenty years experience introducing people to a love of the natural world. She leads hikes for children and for adults in Topanga Canyon, Ballona Wetlands, and Dockweiller State Beach. She surveys the beaches for the Audubon Society looking for endangered beach birds. She has been involved in programs that document amphibians in local creeks and in a program to monitor a sensitive turtle population.