If you enjoyed my recent post about improving your life through learning birdsong, and are now adept at identifying the Chiffchaff and the Great Tit by sound alone, then my work is technically complete - your life is already better. But I'm a nice chap, so I want to go one step further.
I want to give you the power to tune yourself back in to wildlife in everyday situations. This new power will help you to rediscover the things you used to notice and wonder about when you were a toddler, but have since learned to filter out. So...
When you next have a moment - and if you don't think you will have a moment I urge you to make time for one - take that moment to find a spot to sit in a busy place in your town or city centre. You should only need 30 minutes or so.
Use this moment to look out for any glimpse of wildlife that you can. Scan the roof line for pigeons , or perhaps the horizon (if you have one) for Starlings clustering an urban roost. There might be Gulls that are wheeling high above the town. Wherever you are, take note and actively look for every sign of animals, insects, snails/slugs, spiders and, well, anything that moves that isn't human.
Remember to LISTEN for signs of wildlife too - the cawing of a Rook, or maybe the tuneful song of a Robin or the buzzing of a Bumblebee. You could employ your latest new skill of Chiffchaff and Great Tit song identification too. If it is summer you might get the treat of a screaming gang of Swifts ducking and turning at maddened speeds through the rooftops. So, get yourself established and then...
...and this is the REALLY important bit...
...take some time to people-watch.
Take note (just in your mind) of just how many people you see taking notice of the same things that you just have, in any way at all. Count how many people you see from your seat that are aware of the other little beings. The things that are around them every single day whilst they go about business. Did ANYONE notice the same things that you did?
That's it - you can go home now, or head back to work thinking that nothing much has changed.
Except that the NEXT time you walk past the same spot in town, I would be prepared to say that you notice those previously UNnoticed creatures again, realising that you have just got something back that you lost long ago. You will also know that you are now experiencing what everyone else is missing out on. You have tuned yourself back in to nature.
And there you have it, you have improved your life again.