Slow Nature is the idea of cultivating small moments of nature observation in daily life.
Like other Slow movements (Slow Food, Slow Cities, Slow Travel, etc), the focus here is on slowing down, savoring the moment, and pursuing a more balanced life.
But to notice nature in NYC or another city, you literally have to walk slowly. You have to pause while others may pass you by.
This is not easy. This is a city of relentless energy. New Yorkers are strivers, not slackers.
As New Yorkers, we hike all the time – though we think of it as walking quickly from point A to point B. The good news is we have a daily opportunity to change our routes slightly, to slow down and notice what is in front of us.
Ways to Slow Down
Become a connoisseur of the side street, the pocket park, and the hidden green oasis.
Create your own map of green spaces. Visit a favorite this week, no matter what the weather.
Walk as slowly as a tourist in Times Square.
Take out your earbuds.
Put down your phone or other devices.
Open up your senses. This may be challenging in a city that is screaming at you.
Consider going solo. It may be easier to concentrate.
Focus on the non-human for a short amount of time.
Trees, birds, plants, rocks, clouds in the sky can be your objects of focused attention.
Try to describe what you see to yourself.
Try not to think about your job, your relationship, or your rent during these precious moments.
Discover what can be solved by walking.
Solvitur ambulando, translated from Latin as “It is solved by walking.”