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7 Ways to Welcome and Nature Journal SPRING

As we shift away from cool reflective winter days and welcome the gentle warmth of spring, it's the perfect time to renew our connection with the natural world. Spring brings a sense of renewal and rejuvenation, as the earth awakens from its wintry rest and bursts forth with new life.

Noticing and tuning into the changes in nature can help increase your awareness and understanding of nature cycles.

Being with nature can uplift your mood, bring calmness and peacefulness, and reduce feelings of stress.

Open your senses to nature, open your mind to intentional attention, and open your heart to wonder to benefit from the healing and uplifting effects of nature.

If you are still feeling the cold winter weather, think about how can you anticipate the spring activities you will be enjoying soon?

Here are some simple ways to embrace the arrival of spring and some ways to use your nature journal to explore deepen your connection with nature.

🌸1. Take a Nature Walk or Wander: Step outside, take a few breaths, and wander in your yard, neighborhood or through a local park, forest, or nature reserve. A wander is a walk with a slower than usual pace with no particular goal or destination other than to let nature lead you.

Allow the things you encounter to guide your direction. What captured your attention? Go toward that. What do you see? What calls your attention next, and go toward that next. Touch the leaves, and grass, smell the air and flowers, feel the air on your skin, listen to the sounds of early spring. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment

  • 📖 Nature Journal: When you come back from your wander, nature journal your experience from memory. What were the highlights of what you experienced? Sketch loosely to tap into your memory and to help you retain this memory. Add your senses: see, smell, touch, sound..

    1. How did you feel on your wander? Did you feel differently at the end than when you first embarked? Draw a simple map of your wander.

🌸2. Finding Flowering Trees: Flowering and Fruiting trees have begun to blossom! Where I live, Almond is almost done, acacia’s sweet yellow pom-pon-like flowers are still going and plum and peach are going full force right now. As you drive or walk around town, do you notice trees with blossoms? If you can, go close and see and smell the blossoms.

  • 📖 Nature Journal: Sketch the whole tree loosely as a small part of your page, then focus on the blossom or branches.

🌸3. Engage Your Senses: Spring is a season of sensory delights, so take the time to engage all your senses and fully experience the wonders of nature outdoors. Open a window or go outside. Close your eyes and listen to the gentle breeze blowing or birds chirping, run your fingers through the grass or feel the texture of bark,, and savor the taste of fresh, seasonal foods. Let each moment be a rich sensory experience.

📖 Nature Journal: What did you experience? What sense was easy or hard to engage? Describe the sounds, tastes or smells with descriptive words (not just ‘tastes good’ but flavorful, bland, citrus-like, minty, salty, like rough leather, reminds me of green apples).

🌸4. Grow something: Whether you have a backyard, balcony or sunny window, growing something is a great way to welcome the season, and connect with nature.

Plant some seeds, tend to your garden beds, and watch as new life sprouts forth. Nurturing the plants through their growth will allow you to learn their life cycle- If you only have indoors, try sprouting alfalfa sprouts in a mason jar, or potted herbs from the garden center.

  • 📖 Nature Journal: Track the growth of your plants, sketch what it looks like every 2-3 days with the date. What do you feel or wonder as you watch them grow? What do they need from you in order to grow, and what do you receive from them as you tend?

🌸5. Witness the Dawn Chorus: wake up before sunrise to catch the bird symphony that welcomes the rising sun. Sit  outside or open your window and sit with open awareness. I like to step out an hour before sunrise, but you can at first light or after sunrise. Take in the different sounds. You don’t have to know the name of the birds, just notice, where its coming from and what it sounds like.

  • 📖 Nature Journal: Make a sound map– a view from the sky, down onto where you are sitting, and mark where the sounds are coming from. Its ok to mark down human sounds to– they might affect the birds.

    • Try this in different locations (front vs back yard), different days (weekday vs weekend).

    • What is the quietest sound you hear? Is there an area that has the most sounds? Scribble on the page what the sound feels like....

🌸6. Bring spring flowers indoors: For my friends who are still feeling winter outdoors: Go to the store or farmer’s market or grocery store and bring home a bouquet of flowers. Some flowers that are seasonally available this time of year are daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, forsythia and quince branches. There are also year-round flowers. Watch them change as they blossom and fade.

  • 📖 Nature Journal: note the process the flowers go through from bud to open blossom, to withering petals. Notice how they are continually changing and transforming.

How long does this process take? What are you surprised by?

  • How do you feel about the spent or withered blossoms?

Does it make you wonder about any processes in your life?

🌸7. Eat spring foods: Visit your grocery store or farmer’s market for fresh spring produce. Young green garlic, artichokes, arugula, lettuces, etc. And even other year-round produce.

  • 📖 Nature Journal: Spend a few extra minutes with your produce. Notice it's shape, color, texture and flavor. Use descriptive words to describe and sketch what you see. How does is make you feel to be eating and being nourished by spring produce? Do you wonder where and how it was grown or what the plant looks like?

What are some other favorite ways to welcome the spring ? How do you connect to the energy of renewal this season brings?

Please share here or join the Spark Collective collaborative learning community online to share. Start your free trial now.

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