Five participants joined the Writing in Nature group on a rainy Thursday, February 3. We focused on February’s reputation for passion and feelings, starting by introducing ourselves and briefly saying how we each feel about writing at this moment. Responses were certainly a validation of writing as a life-affirming activity.
We then recalled a time when a life choice created a conflict between what seemed the logical decision and one that came directly from the heart. Workshop leader Nancy Morgan read Jane Hirshfield’s poem, ‘Three Times My Life Has Opened’, then gave the group several minutes to record an experience that came to mind. Sharing came in the form of reading the writing or paraphrasing the experience. We marveled at the links between our stories- one of the benefits of writing in community.
For our outdoor activity, we were challenged to find something to love in February’s colorless landscape, bring it back to the table and write an ode in the style of Pablo Neruda. Nancy read Neruda’s ‘Ode to Birdwatching’ as an example. Rain restricted our outdoor time but we each managed to either present or describe the object of our affection.
Participant left with a homework assignment: that for the rest of the day they pay attention to changes in mood, outlook, etc. to see if the research on the health benefits of writing and being in nature holds true for each of them individually.