Nature Tonic: A Year in My Mindful Life by Jocelyn de Kwant is full of 365 ways that you can embrace nature and bring your life back into balance. I absolutely love books that have short prompts or exercises that you can start out each day of the year by doing. This book is unlike any nature book that I have had the pleasure of reading because it combines many different ways that you can interact with nature; drawing, journaling, listening, touching, taking in a grand view and so much more.
This book is illustrated by Clare Owen, and these colorful additions to the activities in the book, make this book something special to add your notes and observations to. It is amazing how much these daily touches with the natural world can change your attitude and your focus for the day. I enjoyed going through this book from start to finish, but I believe that if you love the freedom to skip around and find something that speaks to you that day, that would work as well.
Nature Tonic - Learning New things
Some days you learn lessons about nature that you might not have thought about on your own. For example, #36 asks the question "Did you know that trees sleep at night?". Wow! I had no idea, yet she shares research notes that found that in silver birches, the trees branches and leaves can sag up to 4 inches at night and they they return to their upright positions before sunrise. Fascinating! That day I went out for a walk through a local park and found myself taking a very close look at the trees.
Nature Tonic - Activities
Activity #150 has 4 simple colored circles on the page, and you are invited to go on a color hunt and find natural objects that match the colors shown on the page. I bet it's been a long time since you have actively searched out plants, rocks or perhaps even the evening sky with a particular hue in mind. Such a great way to open up your creative eyes and be more mindful about the world around you.
Into the Fields
There are many categories covered in this book, but my favorite section is entitled "Into the Fields". #288 invites you to sit in the long grasses and take a look around. Try to find a spider web that is crafted between the blades of grass. I took my camera out that day, and it was amazed at how quickly a found a web that caught my interest. Such a beautiful design of swoops and lines gently supported on plants at about height of my knee. If I hadn't been looking for it, I might have just walked right by without noticing this little world.
I invite everyone to read Nature Tonic: A Year in My Mindful Life and see how it can change your perspective and your mindset. I plan to use this book for many years to come to redo activities and find new examples to enjoy. There are no right or wrong answers in this book, so you can have many different experiences and lessons to learn as you open yourself up to the possibilities.
Disclosure: Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group - Leaping Hare Press for providing me with a complimentary copy of this e-book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.