Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Outdoor therapy

Walking the dog is one of the best forms of therapy I know. When we are out in the field or on the bridle path, I make an effort to engage my senses. I love to smell what is going on. Right now it is that gorgeous damp earth smell of autumn when some of the leaves have lost their crispness and are being trod underfoot.
I look both up and down. I like the little details in the undergrowth as well as the big skies, be they blue, grey, or like today with huge clouds sweeping across them.
I am no twitcher - so bird song is trickier one. But I recognise the chirps of the robin and blackbird,  the call of a local squirrel which has a very unattractive voice...the pheasants that screech when disturbed and the woodpecker's drumming, to name a few.
The wind gets me though. In the trees and grasses, and blowing on me. It feels almost cleansing.
It is also good to touch things in nature (within reason folks...). Today we (Juno and I) found some fabulous chestnuts, to be roasted soon. Their spiney cases seriously hurt, but wellies are good for splitting them to get the nuts. All manner of little seed heads, leaves and other flora end up in my pockets on every walk we go on. It is a bit like being a chipmunk. I come home bulging sometimes!
And of course there are things that one can eat. The soft berries are all but gone. However, there are rosehips and if you read this lovely blog  there is some great stuff about rosehips on it. Elderberries, sloes, damsons, apples, there is so much out there.
But the walk is also exercise, me time and I can talk, shout, sing, cry or laugh and only Juno hears me.
If you don't have a dog, that shouldn't stop you. Get out there and be good to yourself. 


crunchnrustle said...

I carry a small plastic bag in my bag/jacket pocket for any interesting leaf, twig, seed etc that I find when I'm out and about and I'm frequently seen running my hand across the front of hedges and bushes or staring intently at moss and fungi!

Liz said...

Indeed. Moss and lichen. That yellow lichen on the rocks in Jersery was gorgeous.