Keeping an ‘out there world’ diary

Here’s a simple exercise you might enjoy, it only takes a few minutes a day and once you get into the habit, it’s really quite rewarding. Think of it like making a diary, but instead of writing (only) about your feelings, you instead take note of the changes you spot in your outer environment, in the natural world.

  • Each day take note of how nature is presenting today
  • As you make your way through your day, look, feel and listen very carefully
  • If you are in the countryside you may get quite an eyeful, if you are in the city it may be just the odd tree or a little sky. Either way, why not be interested!

Here’s an example from a few days in my diary, in both the city and the countryside.

Countryside spotting

Day one: The sky was very blue today, lots of light. I saw the trees, they didn’t have any leaves but they did seem to move a lot in the wind. First sightings of spring bulbs coming up from the ground.

Day two: When I woke up in bed the sky was blue outside the window to my left, and grey outside of the window to my right. It felt cold on my walk to work. A bitter windy cold. I noticed that some of the local fields are turning green and there are a couple of new birds in the garden. I’m not sure what they are, but they seem quite nice.

Day three: Black sky, lots of rain. So much rain I wonder where it’s all coming from. I didn’t see any birds or wildlife today on my travels. I did notice that something is sprouting up in the garden, it could be daffodils.

City spotting

Day one: The weather was cooler today than yesterday, I felt it on my skin. The trees are bare and one of two of the bushes I passed by in other peoples gardens have got little buds on.

Day two: The weather is still cool. The garden looks a little livelier today. A bit greener than usual. The topiary and ferns in the commercial district of the city of London are always so green and manicured. I wonder who looks after them.

Day three: The wind felt warmer today and I saw a few pigeons and several squirrels on my walk to the tube. No leaves on the trees. The days are getting a little longer.


Often times when life is overwhelming or busy we might start to feel separate from the whole of life. To feel that we are alone, here on earth, a separate person, derived mainly from our psychological concept of ourselves. At times like this it can be nice to make a special effort to look at the natural world. The sky, the moon, the stars and the wider cosmos. To feel a part of it all.

To take the time to watch carefully, and see if you can spot the tiny changes. To see that each day, Nature is doing some new little dance.

Let’s close our exploration with a few fabulous words from nature poet R. S Thomas:


“Like a painting it is set before one,

But less brittle, ageless; these colours

Are renewed daily with variations

Of light and distance that no painter

Achieves or suggests.”


Read it here (It’s fabulous!)