Two news items that have us excited, snow as a medium for time travel and a backyard visitor in this month's edition of Nearby Nature Project.
As a long-time blogger, I regularly notice how there's something about translating thoughts into letters that makes the brain slow down. It's a form of meditation, where the object of focus appears in black and white as fingers depress computer keys. On really good days, I enjoy a flow state from the time I click "start a new post" until I click "publish". Those days are rare. For the photo blogging challenge, the process lasts a month!
What we eat can trigger a sense of enjoyment, indulgence, guilt, satisfaction or some other feeling. We often cook as a way of caring. We eat "comfort" foods and share meals with family and friends to foster a sense of connectedness. When we're stressed, angry, sad, lonely or bored, our emotions can trigger "bad" eating. Fundamentally, our food choices are about nourishing our bodies, minds and relationships. But they're complicated by a lifetime of food-related memories, pressure to "eat right for the environment," and fear of being judged for our food choices - often silently and without taking into consideration budget and time constraints.
One nearby nature practice that I've developed over the past few years is to walk to the nearest grocery store and/or nearest branch of the Calgary public library several times each week. I can get there and back in about 30 minutes (depending on the length of the self checkout line). As I walk, I observe the state of the cultivated and wild flowers, birds, ants, the sky, the colour and length of the grass and whether it's going to seed, the way shadows fall, and anything else that catches my attention.
Calgary has been blessed with fantastic conditions this month: warm temperatures and sunshine, very few mosquitoes, daylight from early morning to late in the evening and not much rain (a little more rain to help natural vegetation and farm crops would actually be welcome). I took full advantage of Mother Nature's open door policy. I …