If you want a nature scene to come to life for your readers, you may have to close your eyes to nature so you can tune into your other senses. I used this idea as a prompt two years ago and thought it’d be valuable to repost. If you can, visit the natural location where you want to set your scene. Then close your eyes. What do your other four senses tell you?
I sat in the woods behind our house one morning. Below are my impressions.
- Insects droning, maybe cicadas
- Murmur and swoosh of traffic
- Wet feet from dewy grass
- Bird call like a squeaky toy
- Drop of water on my hair
- Touch of falling leaves
- Rough, warty bark
- Scent of dampness
- Almost without me thinking, feet sensing contour of ground and adapting.
- Variety of bird calls and chirps
Now I can incorporate these senses into a scene, depending on what kind of mood I want to create.
If my feet got any wetter, I’d sprout webbing between my toes. Water dropped onto my hair from the low branches and dampness overwhelmed any other scent. Could you drown on dry land? It seemed possible this morning.
The cicadas hummed in their hidden homes as I strolled in the green shade of the morning woods. Bird calls bounced among the trees. The murmur of traffic wasn’t even a distraction, blending with the cicadas so well that it faded from notice.
Leaves crunched under my feet, and I froze. Had anyone heard me? The cicadas droned, uninterrupted. A drop of water plopped onto the top of my head. My hand groped for support and found it on the warty bark of a slender tree. Catching my breath in my throat, I took another step, my tennis shoes soaked from the drenched ground cover of dead tree debris.
Sit in some natural spot and close your eyes to nature. What do you discover?