Sight is such a dominant sense in humans that for writers to evoke the other senses, we may need to close our eyes to nature.
A few days ago, I sat on the river bank near my home while the kids fished and closed my eyes to tune in my other sense to nature. Below are my impressions:
- Whine of passing cars on bridge
- Bird calls — “purty, purty, purty” and “cheer, cheer, cheer”
- A thick, sweet smell–magnolias?
- Water smacking against an oar
- Air perfect temperature to be without a coat.
I opened my eyes and added “Sunlight glittering on the water”
Now I have the raw materials for using the setting in a scene.
Despite the whine of cars passing on the bridge above the river, Aiden didn’t look up. He kept his focus on the bobber as it danced in a glittering ripple. Birds tossed songs to each other, and a thick, sweet smell reached him from the other bank.
Now go find a place in nature where you can close your eyes and test your other sense with what they can pick up.
I’d love to read what you discover!
I love how you described so much without even needing to use sight!
Thank you! It’s a challenge. Another thing I noticed were a lot of man made sounds.
Big nature (mountains, oceans) re-energizes and inspires me. I don’t often write about it, although I had a notebook full of writing after a train trip through the mountains. Usually, I just let the serenity fill me. I’ll try the exercise you described. Good idea.
I love how small I feel when I stand next to the ocean or hike into the mountains.