On the Road: New Adventures Can Revive a Sense of Wonder

When Jack Kerouac wrote his classic novel, ON THE ROAD, mid-20th century Americans were a restless lot They were on the move, eager for new adventures. Travel by automobile had become a national obsession.

Today, on Labor Day weekend, 2020, Americans still love to explore by car, truck, and now, even SUV. Our continent is so beautiful. What could be more appealing than a getaway outdoors?

This year, enjoying the outdoors seems particularly appropriate. Indoor activities are restricted due to the pandemic. Many Americans have been stuck at home for months. But what if you don’t have access to a car?

To refresh your spirit in nature, you may not need wheels. A local park, a nearby beach–such outdoor venues close to home can allow you to enjoy a mental vacation. So why not give yourself a break from anxiety?

Relaxing in nature may stimulate your creativity, too. It does mine. Over time, I have developed approaches that work for me.

Three creativity-building exercises to try while outdoors:

Use your imagination. When you gaze across a landscape or seascape, imagine how the same scene would appear at different times of year or times of day. When you see a friendly dog, imagine how it would have looked as a puppy. When you taste a delicious dish, imagine how the cook came up with the recipe.

Notice the connections between things. Observe closely, with the soul of an artist. Do the veins in a leaf resemble the wooden skeleton of a tree? Do the ripples on the pond resemble waves caused by wind through a field? What does a bird’s trill have in common with the music you enjoy? Do the scents of certain flowers impact your emotions?

Feel a sense of wonder. Allow yourself to step into the zone of higher consciousness. Marvel at the intricacies of a spider’s web. Feel awe when an eagle soars beyond its mountain home. Experience the thrill of the vastness of the night sky, Realize how truly astounding the world is–seen and unseen–and that you are part of it,

Of course, these are just examples. Discovery awaits. The possibilities are endless.


Happy Labor Day,

Tina Murray, Ph. D.

Editor and writer / Copyright Tina Murray, Ph. D. 2020 / photo credit: Tina Murray, Ph. D.

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