In your journal, reflect on and document the various ways you choose to connect with nature on a regular basis. Do you take time to connect or commune in or with nature? If not, why not?
If you want to begin to deepen or expand your connection to nature you can use our Grounding with Nature video to help you further develop your relationship with nature,
In your journal, when you do spend time in nature, make note how it feels. Keep track of how often you engage her and how she makes you feel. As you develop and nurture your relationship with Mother Nature continue to keep track of what you did and how it made you feel. Observe and document how you feel in your body, how your breath is impacted. If you feel differently, physically, emotionally or mentally. You might also begin to be more attentive to the way nature is behaving, simply by noticing how seasons work where you are and how those seasons might differ when you visit somewhere else. For instance, I am constantly struck by the way summer in Senegal works as it is our rainy season from late June to the end of September. For me, this means not only noticing weather but noticing how it impacts our lives, including what we eat and what we will harvest at the end of the season. Doing so helps me to be more aware and grateful for the food we have and the ways that we acquire it and from whom. Things we do not typically pay much attention to when we buy everything in a huge grocery store.
Then, of course, you might notice patterns and seasons in nature particularly in relationship to climate change. That might mean tracking hurricanes or tornadoes. Or noticing how winter impacts where you are. Or how drought or fire might be influencing the place you live or a place you imagine visiting one day. Maybe even asking your elders, aunts and uncles, grands and great grands about what they see and know to be true about climate, weather and nature in places that you all as a family know and celebrate as home.
Consider ways that you can connect your relationship with nature to being in community. Perhaps, you get involved with a local farm or food cooperative with a particular focus on Black communities. Perhaps, you join a group of Black folks who spend time outdoors for recreation or engaged in fitness such as Black Girls Run or Girl Trek. Or, perhaps, you get involved in how your local and regional park system works – not just as a park visitor – but really beginning to make sense of how parks systems work and impact our day to day lives. You might just be surprised. And, you might enjoy being apart of a community or a collective effort to be far better stewards of nature.
As your reflect on nature and your relationship with it, you may find that you want to start a separate journal to capture all the ways you have connected with and deepened your relationship her.