Seven participants joined the group for the June Writing in Nature workshop led by Nancy Morgan. Our theme, Nature as Common Ground, reflected the growing divisions in society as a general observation. We each described places in nature that we retreat to for a respite and renewal. Staying with that theme, we focused on the physical and emotional benefits of being in nature. Referring to scientific research supporting these health benefits, we conjectured that nature might provide solutions for easing the rancor many Americans are experiencing.
Our assignment was to move out into the environment with a goal of identifying and documenting ways nature might heal the divisions, based on how nature helps each of us. When we returned to the picnic tables outside the gatehouse, each person read or paraphrased their discoveries. We conjectured that some type of sensory deprivation might be one cause of the growing distress, an ailment that time in nature quickly alleviates. Quotes by Rachel Carson and poems by Mary Oliver enhanced our discussion.