Did you hear that?

Jo writes: Listening to the beautiful birdsong in Joan’s blog this week reminded me of a lovely activity I used to do with my daughter when she was younger, so I decided to revisit it today.

My happy place

The idea is simple and can be done indoors or out, as long as you can capture the sounds of the natural world – so if you can’t get outdoors at the moment, simply open a window.

I headed for my favourite spot at the back of the garden where the sun hits first thing in the morning.  I took out my cup of tea, paper and pencil.  Then, I simply closed my eyes and listened.  I listened for every sound and where it came from….birdsong – if I was clever I could maybe have identified who’s birdsong – traffic noise, voices, laughing, the sound of the trees swaying in the wind, bees buzzing, water splashing from the paddling pool next door….  And then I drew.  Not a stunning work of art, but a fair representation of the sounds of life in my garden.  A moment in time, captured forever.  Once I had captured the sounds I then spent at least another 20 minutes embellishing my picture, capturing colour and objects. As I said – not a work of art – there were no vehicles actually floating in the sky but that’s where they sounded to me!

my work of art!

The beautiful thing about this activity is that it really connects you with nature, immerses you in the moment and allows your mind to clear of everything else that might be going on, if only for a while. It’s funny that when I took the time to do this I realised just how much was going on around me that I might ordinarily filter out.  It was such a calming thing to do – especially since the traffic noise right now is so minimal that everything else seems to have found its voice.

As I mentioned at the start, this activity can be adapted in many ways – for use indoors or out or by choosing a specific sense, it doesn’t have to be sound – you could use all your senses but single out one to focus on at a time.

It’s probably 5 years since I last did this with my daughter but the passing of time hasn’t dampened our love of this therapeutic and engaging pastime. Go on, why not give it a try today?  It’s not the end result that matters really, although the creations can be surprisingly beautiful, but the joy and peace that comes from the process.

Happy gardening!

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