• Elisabeth/Tonya

sensing joy

In winter, with it's dark, dreary, short days, when birds are quiet, trees barren, and the plants no longer growing, we tend to want to just stay indoors and snuggle up with a fire and a good book.

But there is still so much to see, hear and smell, so many lovely things to notice if we just look around. It's important to pay close attention, to consciously notice things that usually go unnoticed; the little, commonplace things that wee are normally to busy to notice. Take stock of everything your senses pick up on, all the tastes, textures, scents, and colors.

Listen to sounds you may not have noticed before, instead of thinking of them as background noise. hear the hum of the furnace, the twittering of birds, the crunch of gravel under tires, the rustle of a turning page. one of my favorite sounds is actually the complete stillness that comes after a fresh fall of snow, when all is muted and quiet.

Recently I've been paying more attention to color. It's fun to choose a particular color, and spend a day, or even a few days, looking for it in nature, or everywhere you go. It will amaze you all the varying shades, you see, and in what unusual places!

One of the reasons natural dyeing is so fascinating, is that it is amazing how many colors you can get from plants, and what varying shades. for instance, if you want yellow, there is lemon, mustard, golden, bronze, butter, nut brown, and they can be got from a surprising variety of plants.

There are so many advantages to really noticing your senses, on of which is that you become more attuned to your surroundings, and better able to enjoy them. Next time you go for a walk, get stuck in traffic, or have to wait for something, take stock of your environment; no matter how dreary of familiar it is. There is always something you can notice, even if it's not particularly attractive, you can find very interesting things, by just observing.

By noticing your senses, and appreciating all the things the pick up on, you will find a great deal of pleasure that you would not have noticed in your every day routine. By paying attention to our senses, we give ourselves so much joy and can find calm, interest, and pleasure in even the mundane things we do. Use your senses as often and as well as you can, after all, that is why you have them!


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