A favorite children’s book in the after school program read, “Tracks in the snow, tracks in the snow. Where did they come from, where did they go?” Whenever I’m out on a walk in the forest and see tracks in the freshly fallen snow, these lines play cheerfully through my mind.
In this past post, I discussed how amazing tracking with children is. Animal tracking is truly a magical tool that encourages curiosity and problem solving.
However, the benefits can extend to adults too! Too often we forget to stop and examine the beautiful and interesting details that surround us in our everyday life. This is especially true when trying to fit exercise and outside time into a busy day. Mindfulness, curiosity, life-long-learning, and wonder are especially important when there is a need to counteract stressful situations in other parts of life. Following animal tracks is a wonderfully energizing way to be present in the moment with all senses alert.
My challenge to you: Walk outside in a natural setting, deeply breathing in the fresh air, as often as you can. If there is a dusting of snow or patches of mud, keep an eye out for animal tracks. Take time to observe and question: What kind of animal was it? How did it move? Where did it come from? Where did it go?