Listening in Winter (easy)

Winter is a great time of year for sense-itive activities in nature. Let's explore how nature journaling in winter can sharpen our sense of hearing with this simple activity.

Listening is a skill.

We can develop our ability to listen by first becoming quiet ourselves. To practice this skill, stand in one place and uncover your ears from your hat and actively listen. Pay attention to the subtle sounds that seem to whisper. The first step is to detect sounds.

Detecting subtle sounds.

The dry air of winter allows sounds to travel farther than in the summer. Is the sound all around you like the crumpling of melting snow or is it directional like snow falling from a tree? What can you hear far away? Can you hear your own breathe? Did any sounds startle you? Was there any undetectable sounds? Strain to hear even the most subtle of sounds. At this point you can look around and begin to identify where sounds are coming from. What phenomena or creature is creating the sound?

Sensory deprivation.

In winter, there are no bugs, leaves rustling, birds chirping. It's the perfect time to practice awareness since there are very few distractions. I'm convinced the best way to become a better listener is to listen to silence. It's like a palette cleanser for the ears. Practice sharpening your sense of hearing by closing your eyes and plugging your ears for 15 seconds. Keeping your eyes closed, unplug your ears and listen. It's been shown that when one sense is lost the others compensate by becoming stronger.

Do this practice any time you need some fresh air this winter.