Lessons from a Birdbrain Winter, Ohio introduces 21 birds that spend the coldest months here in the Buckeye state, where I call home. With each bird, I include reflections and a quote I encourage readers to ponder along with learning more about the birds. I’ve tried to make the learning fun and different from what you would find if you just looked up the bird in a typical field guide. This may be related to their nicknames, their breeding behavior or something about my experience with getting the picture. Reflections are all about mindfulness, an “aha” that has helped me live life more serenely.
Why or how, you may ask, does birding go with mindfulness? From Oxford Languages, “Mindfulness is defined as 1) the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something 2) a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.” Birdwatching is all about the state of being conscious and aware. If I’m not paying close attention, I can miss a lot. And birdwatching brings me alertly into the present. Acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, admittedly I often have to work at…but everything else about birding is practically the definition of mindfulness itself.