In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.Alice Walker
Say hello to week 5 of Haiku for You, where every week is about enabling you to write for your well-being!
If this is your first visit, there is no need to feel daunted. This is all about learning how to appreciate every moment as though it’s brand new. Please welcome what you are about to create for yourself. You can also take a look at my introductory post, which explains how these twelve weeks of writing prompts are here to help you mindfully unwind. Feel free to either begin with this week or any of the previous. The main thing is that you do what feels right for you.
For this session, I would like you to make sure all non-essential digital devices are switched off or put safely aside. Move your seat away from the hum of the washing machine, the drone of the microwave, or the constant tick of the clock. If you can, sit safely outside, or if not, at the very least, near a window. I will explain more, but it would be great if you could find a view of something real.
Have you found your spot?
take a slow, deep breath in …
…and then back out.
Now, we are going to turn over a new leaf and talk about
Thoughts about nature
Did you know that being truly immersed in nature can really improve our mental health and general well-being? Many people find that taking a step outdoors can immediately dissolve their stress and anxiety. This can be especially effective if it involves exercise, but even if we are taking a simple stroll, the atmosphere of a forest alone can make us feel as though we have flown to freedom!
Have you ever thought that just like us, nature might be speaking its own language? Perhaps it says hello through green shoots, knocks at our windows with rain, and whistles to us while we sleep. We must not forget the life that is going on beneath our feet. It can be calming to think about such wonders.
Why do we yearn for nature?
Those of you who struggled to find your space at the beginning of this session may already know the answer. Whether we live in an apartment in a busy city, or in a house on a main road, or just in a house dominated by an Alexa, the television or too many mobile phones, nature can feel like a stranger in our lives.
Many of us spend a frightening amount of time on the Internet or using digital devices on a daily basis. We can find that our eyes grow weary from yet more screen-time where we are always paying attention to something. Ironically, studies show that focusing on all these devices at once can drastically shorten our overall concentration span. Instead, we need to rest our eyes, our ears and our minds all at once.
We need to pay attention to ourselves.
Where can you find nature?
This will be different for everyone depending on your lifestyle, but if you can, search for the green. By this, I mean, anything that grows! This could be your patch of grass, a visit to a nearby park, a ramble through the woods, or simply watering the flowers on your windowsill.
Spend some time breathing in all that free oxygen. Trace your hand along the brittle bark of trees, smell the sweetness of cut grass in the air or the ground after rain. Escape into the garden and start growing those tomatoes you’ve been meaning to. Root your hands in earth and find your foundation.
If you can’t always venture out of the house, don’t worry, you can always bring the outside indoors. Nurture a houseplant and watch it flower or notice how the birds serenade you every morning. The main thing is that each day, you are finding a moment to breathe and touch nature with a kind hand. It’s funny, when we pay more attention to nature, we realise we are also beginning to grow.
Learn to nurture yourself
We often talk about nature very broadly, as though it is something very separate from us, and yet, we are an ideal example of it. We need sunlight, we need water, we need to be nourished daily and we certainly thrive in a comfortable environment. And guess what? We need to feel cared for in order to happily survive.
Learn to see your imperfections in the same way you would look at a plant. It is original! Our bodies, like nature, are not the same every day. We are not man-made objects, but humans who change at the mercy of circumstance.
So, learn to love how your eyes scrunch up when you smile, or how your body wobbles while you walk. See any wrinkles as evidence of a life well-expressed, and your body as a map of many memories.
Haiku about nature: Some examples of my own
Released from Lockdown trees aren’t coloured with crayons, birds still sing Disney.
Cut grass, barbecues, the smell of a Lockdown breeze on the longest day.
Barren back garden, potting a million flowers, weeds bring up old dirt.
How to write your own haiku about nature
Exercise duration: approximately 30 minutes
- If you can, venture outside. If not, find a view from a window or close your eyes and remember a time you were in nature. Observe your surroundings and tune into all your senses. What does the air smell like? What can you hear? Who or what can you see?
- Note down at least three colours from your natural surroundings. Notice the patterns.
- If you were to take a photograph of this moment, what would stand out most?
- Is the air cool? Are you feeling warm? Is it raining? Is there sun, or a light breeze?
- Come back to the present moment, always holding on to what comforts you most.
- If haiku is your language, how would you express what nature is trying to tell you?
Just remember, it’s three lines of 5-7-5 syllables! Refer back to How to write Haiku guidelines.
So, close your eyes and take another deep breath in …
and then out …
Once you have written your haiku about nature, how do you feel?
Isn’t it reassuring to be part of something so vastly miraculous? It can almost feel like re-entering nature’s community; a landscape of beautifully different faces.
I hope this session is a warm reminder that nature, different from our fast-paced lives, moves so slowly that we might forget that it’s evolving into something extraordinary. Think of how the clouds pass over you. Listen to the wind blow. Look at the branches of the trees, and how they wave at you. Notice how quickly the grass grows while you are asleep, and how flowers can bloom over the space of a single hour. Nature is wonderfully subtle in its craft.
Thank you for allowing me to plant some seeds of inspiration. I hope you now feel able to nurture them, allow them to see some light, and encourage them to grow a little more every day.
Remember, you will always feel more powerful when you allow yourself to be at your most natural.
Now, let’s haiku away!
If you are happy to, please leave your beautiful haiku about nature in the comments section below this post.
See last week – Week Four: Haiku about Touch.