I recently went to an artist lecture, and their discussion of mindfulness brought my attention to an old memory. It was when my father and I used to sit outside in silence together. When I was particularly young, I was actually somewhat fascinated by the process. I remember I’d get excited when he’d go out there in the evening, anticipating our time together. Once I saw he had completed his daily devotion, I’d slowly make my way out, introducing myself to his space. Then, we’d sit. That’s all. Simply, sit. I particularly loved when I could hear the crickets off in the distance. Or watch the stars emerge as the night sky darkened. However, my favorite part was being there with him. It was a time of connection. In the stillness, I felt his love.

It wasn’t until the resurfacing of this memory that I realized what an impact those moments together had on me. Through our time of silence, he taught me to experience the beauty within my daily surroundings. While I grew up spending most of my time outdoors, it was in these simple moments that developed my kinship with nature. He was the beginning. He was the one that made it special.

Now, my practice is dedicated towards this kinship. When I make time for stillness, I am able to find solace. Find solace in my surroundings. To those near to me. And to myself. So, if you’re looking to connect, focus on appreciating what’s near to you. Ways to do that can be through walking, sketching, or in my father and I’s case—sitting. No matter the case, there’s beauty to be found.

And if you’re looking to develop this skill further, I’ve included a link to a short podcast I recently listened to. It goes more in depth on how to better facilitate this appreciation within your own life. Happy listening.

The Science of Happiness: Find Beauty in the Everyday: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/public-radio-international/the-science-of-happiness/e/64498404

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.