Morning

This is for the Daily Prompt: discover.

I see people out with ear buds in place, walking or running. I also see people outside face down towards their phones.

I am sending people outdoors from my clinic, without ear buds, with cell phone off or silenced.

We need the sensory input from forests, from the outdoors, from fields, from beaches. We need the unpredictable and to USE all our senses. Smell, sound, proprioception… Proprioception is your feet telling you whether you are on a flat surface or little stones or a dirt path or that there is a rock there. My daughter and I walked on the beach last night, without a flashlight. I stumbled more than her. We discussed night vision and clearly hers is better than mine. We could see the light of Seattle reflecting from the clouds and onto the water of the Salish Sea. Mostly clouds, a few stars, no streetlights. We could see the windows of houses along the beach. The tide was out and the waves were very quiet, and we walked into a flock of sandpipers who called.

When my son was 18 months old, we took him to family land in Ontario, Canada, with old cabins on a lake. The paths are dirt. I ran those paths in the dark as a child for years, and every year the rocks and sticks were different. My son was used to floors and sidewalks and a grassy yard. For the first few days he stumbled on the paths, which are not even. By the time we left, he was running the paths with ease.

We need that sensory input and proprioception and to use all of our senses. When we get new complex sensory input, chronic pain sensors are turned down, as the brain is engaged to evaluate new information. We need outdoors, we need sensory input, we need uneven paths and beaches and rocks, we need to practice balance or else we lose the skills….

Turn off your phone. Take off your headphones. I exchange calls with birds often. I hear eagles and can imitate their call. I am good enough that sometimes the eagles that I cannot even see when I call, will drop down from the sky to see where the sound came from….Am I some sort of weird eagle insulting them?

Happy solstice and joy to you and yours.