Having had a slight hiatus this winter, my attention was redrawn to blogging by a musical colleague who asked me the following just as winter ice was breaking with the stirrings of spring politics and European migrations: how does one maintain a positive/optimistic world view in light of all the hatred being stirred up.

How to stay in focus……..how does one allow oneself to be refocused so that perspective can be changed and outlook can be improved?

This occurs for me through daily nature walks. Sometimes it is a special place where I can just sit and listen and watch the world.

  up cycled snowboard bench by maple tree, Suicide Six overlook, Pomfret VT

up cycled snowboard bench by maple tree, Suicide Six overlook, Pomfret VT

The breath moves the mind, which at times refuses to move at all. Then I am aware of becoming focused on sound, such as the moving of the river (the Black River below); how it trickles and rushes and almost roars at times, then fades as cool wind comes down through the hemlocks and gets dampened therein. A Canada goose flaps her wings upstream, the white water crests below.

  Black River, Cavendish VT

Black River, Cavendish VT

I become being aware of the sight of the color- moving green clear water over rocks, silts discoloring the water in blues and translucent greens. My eyes seek to see more clearly that color, to hear it, to see it, to sense it, to be it. And I might get lost in the synesthetic awareness therein.

The sound of peepers now permeates a noon time walk- even though at 8am they are dormant while the air is still cold and light ice covers a vernal pool up the hill from work. 

Change- change occurs readily in nature. And I can change too, change my perspective- get away from ‘it’ for a while, rebalance and reground myself when life seems a bit overwhelming. 

It doesn’t take much- just take an empty jar and add flowers- and my camera to record the process for reflection and inspiration for days to come when I need that little bit of balance.

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Ben Fox is a Licensed Mental Health Clinician in the state of Vermont, an Expressive Art Therapist, & an Community Minister associated with the North Universalist Chapel Society of Woodstock, VT