I glanced out the window today and finally noticed buds on the trees. When did that happen? Would I even have noticed them last Tuesday when it was snowing so hard and I was so desperate for any sign of spring.

Spring has been a topic that arises in many of my discussions with youth and their parents, especially this year when so many plans have been interrupted by weather.
Each of the youth on the inpatient unit where I work has a window. I think a window is very important for health because it stimulates daydreaming. Daydreaming, which can conveniently be linked to mindfulness for a guilt-free reason to daydream every day, is essential to an understanding of the world around you.

Today, as I sit at my window daydreaming, noticing the first buds of spring, it is so sunny out I cannot believe the rainfall warning being televised on the radio. Looking around, there is not yet a cloud in the sky of this day. Even with my poor vision, I can clearly make out the pileated woodpecker on the maple tree in the middle of the block across the street. My neighbor is out in a long-sleeved sweater. I do nothing but look out the window and observe, deliberately, for ten minutes all that is happening.

This, I remind my young patients, is something they can also do. What I notice when I look out a window will be different from what they notice. If all of us, in a group, compare what we notice, then we will have an endless number of things observed.

Look outside your own window. Notice something that intrigues you. Draw a picture – with pencils, with crayons, with words, with music. Do it quietly and let the calm overtake you.

Mindfulness…

“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.” Joyce Kilmer

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