What are a few of the exceptional moments in your life? If you are like most people, you might recount the birth of a child, a promotion or wedding. But what about a moment from yesterday? Probably not on your list, right?
The unfortunate reality is that we miss exceptional moments every day. We are so busy going from activity to activity we miss what is right there in front of us. Nature provides wonder every day if we just take the time to observe. And our nature journals can be the key to unlocking and remembering these moments we might otherwise miss.
This month, add a section to your journal called, “Exceptional Daily Moment”, (adapted from Claire Walker Leslie’s book, Drawn to Nature). The premise of this exercise is simple. What is the moment that pops into your head at the end of the day and brings a smile to your face or joy to your heart? This is your exceptional moment. And surprise, it doesn’t have to be anything grand. One day my exceptional moment was the instant I realized that rain drops are shaped differently depending on what type of leaf they are on. Of course, there is a scientific reason why this happens but it doesn’t dim the magic of the moment.
By the way, here is the science. Leaves are covered with a waxy cuticle and depending on the species can be thick or thin. Wax is a water-repellent and it affects how water behaves on the leaf. For example, the cuticle on the redbud leaves repels water very strongly. As the water is repelled, it pulls away from the leaves and forms an almost spherical ball, which reflects light. An oak leaf on the other hand, repels water with less force, leading more of the water to be in contact with the leaf, and the flattened pool of water reflects less light. Still pretty magical, right?
According to author Sharon Salzburg, “If we stop to notice moments of pleasure – a flower poking up through the sidewalk, a puppy experiencing snow for the first time, a child’s hug – we have a resource for more joy.” Writing down or sketching these moments allows us to recognize and savor that joy. And who doesn’t want more joy in their life?
So this month, take a minute to recognize your exceptional moment each day and at the end of the month you will see there is a lot to be grateful for in our lives.