A good conversation starter is to ask someone about their favorite place in nature and what they like about it. When I started paying attention to the beauties of nature, I would immerse myself as deeply as possible; but the experience wouldn’t last. Only when I started taking at least fifteen minutes with a phenomenon or scene would it stay in my mind as something I could revisit whenever I wanted.
Then I discovered John Muir, who I think is the greatest appreciator of natural beauty I have ever read. Here is a quick summary of what I found in his writings. Enjoying the beauties of nature to the fullest, we mobilize all our powers of mind, soul, and body. Being fully and wholeheartedly engaged unifies all the layers of experience:
- Keen, analytical, holistic, and scientifically informed perception.
- Empathy cultivated by experience with various species of living things and by the arts.
- Intellectual insight into the harmony of contrasts.
- Philosophical awareness.
- Realization of beauty as divine.