NatureSmart involves the full range of knowing that occurs in and through your encounters with the natural world, including your recognition, appreciation, and understanding of the natural environment.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine that you are in your favorite natural setting right now. Imagine that all of your senses are “wide open” and that you can experience the fullness of this setting at one hundred percent of what your senses can provide. What are you seeing?
- What are you hearing and smelling? What textures do you feel?
- What tastes are in your mouth (or could be if you sampled them!)?
- Now move to your “inner senses.” What emotions does this place evoke in you?
- What does it cause you to ponder? What symbols do you see?
-What is stirred in your soul as you imagine yourself being here?
You experience your NatureSmart when you notice the effect on your mood and sense of well-being when someone brings plants and/or cut flowers into an otherwise sterile, humanly-created environment.
You experience this intelligence when you encounter a new born animal.
Think how often we head for nature when we want to relax, “unwind”, find inner renewal, or to just “get away from it all!”
How many of the following are true for you?
You have a profound love for the outdoors, animals, plants, and almost any natural object.
You are fascinated by and noticeably affected by the weather, changing leaves in the fall, the sound of the wind, the warm sun or lack thereof, or an insect in the room.
At a young age you were a nature collector, adding bugs, rocks, leaves, seashells, and sticks to your collections.
As a child you brought home all manner and kinds of stray animals.
You have several pets in your life and want more.
You tend to have an affinity with and respect for all living beings.
Conditions in nature, such as sunshine, the wind, and the changing seasons dramatically change your moods.
Consider your reaction to powerful displays of nature’s force in such things as the weather or a natural disaster, the experience of awe evoked by various natural phenomena such as the Grand Canyon, the experience of the changing leaves in the Fall on in eastern Canada or New England in the United States, or the ocean’s waves ceaselessly crashing on a rocky shore.
And consider the esteem which we have held for hunters and gatherers, and those skilled in herbal medicine in our past, and such contemporary figures as as John Audubon, Jacques Cousteau, Jane Goodall, forest rangers, and zoo keepers.