I’ve been lucky enough to live in multiple cities around the world, with most of my adult life having been spent in urban environments, places largely manmade, designed for industry and culture. It’s easy to forget these spaces were once undeveloped and untamed by humankind. But every now and again, even in the most urban of environments, you can find nature asserting itself: a flower or weed poking up from the concrete; a bird’s nest tucked into the girders of an overpass.
This activity is quite simple: take a walk with the idea to keep an eye out for (and document, if you wish) places where nature is reclaiming or appearing in a manmade environment. Take a moment to pause to connect with what you find. Experience the courage of the plant trying to make a home in between railroad tracks; the moss on the wall of the building; or the squirrel scampering down a busy avenue. Find places where life grows from inanimate. A flower in the crack of a sidewalk. The stump of a cut-down tree sprouting new shoots.
This is not a scavenger hunt, or contest. It’s simply to bring awareness to a walk, and to reconnect with the natural world on a very basic, passing level, and to remind ourselves that in the end we are living in borrowed space, and one day it will have to be returned.
For more walks and mindfulness activities, look here.