Leaves, Trees, Texture and Touch
On October 7, Nancy Morgan led the monthly Writing in Nature workshop with a focus on “Leaves, Trees, Texture and Touch.” After reviewing research on the health benefits of time spent in nature or “Forest Medicine,” and expressive writing (writing thoughts and feelings), participants were asked to recall and write about memories of trees in childhood in journals provided by Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. They shared their stories with the group, then explored the area for leaves, cones and seeds that caught their attention. Emphasis was placed on touch, noticing the texture of tree bark and the feel and shape of leaves, ways to identify and become familiar with tree species across the seasons. Participants returned with a variety of items and explained the reasons for their choices. The final activity involved imagining what it is like to be a leaf, to suddenly change color and leave familiar surroundings. Each person wrote and shared their stories. Morgan recited tree poems by Wendell Berry and Mary Oliver during the session and displayed a number of related books and resources.