Being Present

Florence Williams studies how nature affects us. Specifically, spending time in nature enhances brain function, reduces stress, mitigates disease and increases creativity. A fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature in Chicago and a visiting scholar at George Washington University, Williams sees an intrinsic link between the patternings of the natural world and our human body; in short, syncing with nature restores us.

Many of us feel this in our bones. Our internal clock tells us it’s time to head outside to connect with something outside of ourselves. What we’re ultimately seeking is that delicious moment when our mind stops, our senses activate, and we become fully present to our surroundings. Here, with the sky, trees, woods, water, birds, flowers, fields, grass, dirt, or mountains—however it looks at the time—here we come back to ourselves.

Art making offers this same delicious moment.

In an earlier posting I wrote of a challenge in deep studio work. Today I write of a blessing.

Art comes into form through our hands. We can guide it, but we can’t force it. And we certainly can’t logic our way into it. Art happens when our minds stop, our sense activate, and we become fully present to the work that wants to come forth.

My time spent in deep woods is no different than time spent in deep studio. The connection to something so much bigger.

The gift of being present.

From a November 2018 walk

From a November 2018 walk