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Part of sustainability on the farm includes taking care of our well-being. For me, that means walking in the trees.

Why tree walks? First of all, it's safer, less dusty and more beautiful than being sandblasted by passing vehicles on our gravel road!😁

Secondly, it's my escape. No one can see me in the trees, except Brian, our dog who meanders alongside. For a brief period of time, I can just be, letting my thoughts slowly rise and drift away through steady walking, breathing and embodiment.

As I walk the tree rows along our driveway, I find myself tuning in to my surroundings . . . and turning off my podcast chatter . . .

Instead, I notice

. . . a deer footprint in the mud,

. . . a magpie nest with little ones in the trees,

. . . the aroma of lilacs, pungent pine and spruce,

. . . a cherry tree seedling flowering in a random place,

. . . the sun dappled leaves making music in the breeze

. . . the boundless Saskatchewan sky. I had no official name for my walks until I read a New York Times article that called them "Awe Walks". I like that!

One would think that the feeling of awe can only be elicited in the grandest of vistas, but apparently, awe resides in the commonplace too, in wonder and humility.

Apparently, awe is good for you, it calms the nervous system, and amongst participants in one study who took awe walks, it helped people feel more upbeat and hopeful than those who did not.

So next time you're out walking, pay attention to the little things, stop, pause and feel when something captures your attention. Hone in on the little things and slowly expand your vision.

There is beauty everywhere. If we look.

Have a wonderful summer and soak up the sunny Saskatchewan warmth!

Happy walking,

Melanie Boldt

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