We live in an amazing natural and wild world. But many of us don’t take the time to interact and pay attention to it. And even though current research states that taking regular walks outside can benefit us both physically and mentally, few people take advantage of this free remedy to offset the stresses of everyday life. Fewer still allow such experiences to inspire their creative juices and to write. This sampler course will give you the deliberate chance to get outside, to use your senses, to focus on specifics, and to write about what you discover. Along the way, you will uncover your own connections with the wild nature of your place. As a result, you should feel good about yourself and about the world around you. And you can use these basic techniques to continue your own wild exploration journey, even in your own neighborhood.
What this course entails
You’ll go out for a one-hour walk once a week for four weeks, with a specific focus in mind. Then you’ll write about something that you encountered. Of course, you can use the course in any way that makes the most sense to you. If you can go out more often, so much the better. Judge your local environment accordingly. Be sure to choose a time of year when you can be comfortable outside without much concern about the weather. If this go-round will be too hot, too cold, or too wet in your neighborhood, you may want to take the course during another time of year instead. We wild-oriented folks go out in each season; but we are also smart and prepared about our nature-seeking habit.
By the end of the course, you will have at least five pieces of finished writing and will have gained a greater understanding and connection with the wild place you’ve chosen to explore.
Corinne H. Smith is a writer and a poet who worked as a librarian for more than 30 years. Along the way, she earned a degree in outdoor teacher education. She is the author of "Westward I Go Free: Tracing Thoreau's Last Journey," the first book to follow his 1861 trip from Massachusetts to Minnesota. Her book for middle-schoolers, "Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, With 21 Activities," was released in January 2016. She currently divides her time between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts; and she serves as an interpreter and blog writer for Thoreau Farm: The Birthplace of Henry David Thoreau in Concord, Mass.