This is Week 26 of {Project 52} Stay Awake. You are welcome to join in anytime during this year-long mindful living photo project. please upload your photos to our Project 52: Stay Awake Flickr group so we can see what an Awake life means for you. And, if you also use Instagram please use the hashtag #awakeproject13.

The path was long and up a hill — and in direct sun on a really hot day.

My girls were complaining before we started.

The annual letter boxing program run through our local library system isn’t something they’ve been thrilled about in the past. This year, though, they seem to be getting into it, and even said it’s fun. And I love how they run to find the post once they get close.

But, the truth is, we’d much rather  explore on our own than follow directions.

I’m learning that about ourselves.

Still, this day — our first — we started out on the path. A few minor complaints to start because of the heat, the hot sun and the long path ahead of us.

The first thing we noticed was the crackling sound of the power lines we walked under. It’s an eery sound but we noted how neat it was to walk under power lines, something to add to our family adventure journal.

Soon after, we came to the pond.

Not a pretty pond at all. It was misshapen, muddy, covered in bits of algae and decorated with fallen tree branches.

“Look around and you might see some frogs,” another mom told us as we were walking.

We looked and looked and saw nothing.

“Let’s get going,” I said, pulling them along with my body language.

They looked a little more. I pulled a little more, getting a bit antsy in the heat, knowing we had a long walk ahead of us.

“A turtle,” my daughter yelled.

Sure enough, a lovely little turtle was sitting there, hiding in the brush.

“A frog!” my daughter yelled.


Soon, as our eyes adjusted and became used to the habitat around us, we saw them.

Dozens and dozens of frogs.

“There’s another one! And another one!”

Their green and brown bodies perfectly hidden in the greens and browns of the pond.

It was glorious to see so many frogs like that. It was a new experience for us.

Using your senses to wake up and live fully Project 52

We didn’t dare touch them, though, as we had learned the year before that the oils on human skin can harm frogs who have very sensitive skin. I reminded the girls of that … keeping with our zero-tolerance, no-harm living creatures rule.

We kept on … later on that same walk we felt the heat fiercely as sweat dripped down all of our bodies.

“Feel my head,” the girls would say.

“Feel my stomach.”

Later we smelled the amazing smell of a field of pink Rhododendrons. What an experience. I could have laid down in that field and stayed there all day.

As we entered the woods, finally, and with such relief to be shielded from the sun the girls searched for the perfect walking sticks. They found and picked up only one. They shared it, feeling it’s weight in their hands as they whacked it against the ground to help them along in their hike.

It was a peaceful experience by the end as we found our post, got the sketching and wound our way back to the car throught the woods, stopping to listen for creatures in the woods.

“I saw a bear!” my daughter said, scaring herself with her own joke.

We brushed it off, sort of.

They clung to me the rest of the walk until we met a tiny bird, in which we had to tip toe silently through the woods until it finally flew away.

And, as I write this, I wonder if there’s one more sense to add to the five senses?

Imagination. It certainly is a special feeling.

Project 52 Week 6 Embrace the MomentThis week for Project 52: Stay Awake I challenge you to use all five of your senses in one place where you spend time — be it on a walk, at the market or in your own home. Wherever you go, close your eyes and listen, breathe in and smell the air and use your hands and feet to feel and touch things along the way, even if it’s just the earth beneath you. Slow down and appreciate the many dimensions of where you are standing, sitting or passing. Bonus points if you use your imagination wherever you are!


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