Most evenings, if daylight permits, I head out back for thirty minutes of natural solitude. While mowers may hum in the distance or trucks may rumble on a nearby road, I try to focus on the sights, sounds and fragrance through which I stroll. I also try to ignore problems that may have occupied my day or that await my attention tomorrow.
This natural form of stress reduction has become a vital part of my life and, though I make no attempt to search for any particular plants or animals, I generally encounter something unexpected or see it in a different light. More than anything else, these breaks from human responsibilities make me appreciate the calm patience that typifies the lives of wild creatures and, on most evenings, I seem to absorb some of that serenity.
I could be getting some bills paid or subjecting myself to the endless parade of reality shows on cable TV but those thirty minutes are a cherished part of my day. While these outdoor rambles often provide fodder for future blogs, I seek only the company of our wild neighbors and a chance to enter their world, however brief that visit might be.