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Day 16: The Nature of a Forest

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

It's Day 16 and first off want to thank YOU for reading this right now. I spent last night and today reflecting on how AMAZING it has been to experiment with the growing of this Play Challenge when a mere month ago it was only a baby idea in my brain. I had no idea how much it would blossom into graphics and blog posts and website design and well it's honestly just splattered further than I could have imagined, and we're only halfway through the month. While the creation of these prompts sometimes feels like a maze... my AMAZEMENT at the enthusiasm and positive feedback I am receiving from you all is really heartfelt and deep. So thank you for being you, and for being here on this play filled ride with me.

Now - how did Day 16 AMAZE you? Where did you find amazement? Was it harder than you thought? Easier? That's the thing about AMAZEMENT - it's not always the easiest to find and sometimes shows up when you least expect it. In fact, that's just part of its NATURE.

Today for Day 16 of our challenge I am picking the theme of NATURE because I think it inevitably intersects our Play. It's raining again in Boston today - the natural world is intersecting and redirecting my play to either play with NATURE (I do love to splash in puddles even as an adult) or adapt the nature of my play, to it. It also serves as a source of inspiration (see: all of the rocks I have painted since finding that painted rock on my sound walk yesterday.)

When I think about nature, the first thing that comes to mind is a forest. And I was sitting on my porch today with my plants, listening to the rain falling and thinking "hmm here I am surrounded by nature but I am still thinking about a forest as my ideal natural environment right now. Why?" And then I started really listening to the word forest and what I heard was "FOR REST."

The natural world is an intersection for me between play and rest. It's where I can find the sweet spot nestled right in-between the two, where I can both be in a state of rest and a state of play simultaneously. NATURE external to me is an environment that fosters endless opportunities for playful intersection and bouncing off and sparking an idea and drop-rippling your way from there. A forest is also a hugely interconnected web of life, a biodiverse collective that thrives by way of intersecting balance. It is a living breathing thing that we are just too small to fully see at once, and I find that amazing.

Today, think about the NATURE as related to your play types, as well as related to your environments and tools. What comes naturally to you? What environments do you naturally gravitate towards for playing? What doesn't feel like it comes naturally, but that you might want to start exploring from home this winter? How does NATURE play in to your playful side? Where does NATURE intersect with one or more play personality? Can you go outside and explore some hyper local nature in the next 24 hours, no matter the weather? Can you bring NATURE indoors, where it can inspire some Play there when outside is too -bleh- ?

Catch you tomorrow for Day 17 to kick off the weekend! You can follow along with my stories around this prompt @eastonsmith on IG (link on homepage) and our hashtag #PlayYourWayChallenge

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