When one adapts to their surroundings, one loses sight of the beauty that lies just before them. The eyes adjust to the environment they’ve seen countless times, the body adjusts to the familiar climate, the mind drifts to places far and wide and before we know it, we find ourselves falling prey to the belief that the grass is greener on the other side. We daydream of faraway landscapes and convince ourselves that where our feet are planted is no longer good enough.
We grow tired of our same familiar surroundings, not fully understanding all that we are taking for granted right below our feet. Undoubtedly, there will always be a prettier place, a friendlier community, a more rugged adventure escape; but in the end, our hearts and minds will always drift to places unknown purely out of curiosity. Man is innately curious, a characteristic which should be celebrated. Keep in mind, it was your curiosity that brought you to the place you find yourself pulling away from today.
As familiar as you become with a place, there is always something new to discover because nature is ever changing. The wild will always be exactly that, wild. There is no taming it, nor can our eyes, senses, and minds ever fully understand it. It is constantly transforming before our very eyes through slow growth and decay, a continuous process.
Once we are aware, we can begin to appreciate and deeply cherish the humble beauty in our own backyards.
Traveling around the world will not satisfy the unquenchable thirst deep within us to be among the beauty of the wild. Each place with enough time will become normal. We will overlook the mesmerizing features that once left us in awe, leaving us yearning for the next best thing.
Step into your backyard, into your local park, onto your neighborhood streets, and take notice. Whether your roots are planted in soft soil or city concrete, as long as your feet are planted on earth, there is still wild to be noticed. From the fauna in the forest to the sprouts of grass reaching up from the cracks in the sidewalk, the wild refuses to be tamed and will always find a breakthrough.
To be more mindful in recognizing the beauty in your own backyard, here are some tips:
- Free yourself from any and all distractions – no phones, no music, no watches, nothing.
- Try bringing along a piece of paper and a pen. Take note or sketch what you see.
- Stop and smell the roses, literally. Take your stroll at your own pace, but try to slow it down as much as possible.
- Quiet your thoughts and focus on your surroundings: the sky, ground, air, sounds, smells. Now is the time to indulge your senses.
- Occasionally stop and turn to view where you stand. Turn a full 360-degrees and recognize anything you may have previously overlooked.
- Satisfy your every curiosity. Carefully touch the interesting looking leaf, study the bright flower, close your eyes and listen to the song of the bird.
- Take mental snapshots with your mind of memorable moments and sights. As you continue your walk, replay the snapshot over in your mind for a few seconds.