For the last year and a half I’ve been accruing a mental list of picnic spots. I spent a fair bit of time exploring new parks and finding secluded spots where I can sit and be still.
There’s something extremely revitalizing about sitting outdoors, on grass, overlooking a large body of water. Surrounded by trees, the chirps of birds, and the buzzing bees.
I’d assume the environment is pleasant as it appeals to some innate desire to be one with our Earth. When I sit on a hilltop and overlook a lake, I feel much more in tune with my surroundings. I feel I’m disturbing the area as little as possible. This is contrary to another activity, such as driving.
Whenever I feel anxious, I find calibrating myself to the sounds of nature is magical. Focusing only on the wake of water or the noise of the dancing trees in the breeze. It’s very powerful to bring your attention to some external source of movement to become present.
It’s effects span more than just the moment. I usually feel more aligned with my values. I can detach from the race of life after decompressing.
I think an action item from this reflection is to simply strive to do this more often. In the moment, it may appear as a waste of time—spending hours alone looking at water is not achieving anything. I think it is, though.
It’s working towards the goal of peace.
It’s also a fantastic spot to bang out push-ups or squats.