We were the strong ones, or the brave. Or maybe we just needed connection so much that we came despite the heat and the to-do lists and the brush fire over there. Whether we could pinpoint our motivations or not, we showed up on that sweltering mid-August evening after work to meet with strangers at Polly Judd Park near the South Hill Bluff—to meditate and to draw.

A few weeks ago, I led another grounding and connecting exercise through Friends of the Bluff‘s Bluff Walks program. This time, our theme was “breaking patterns.” Through guided meditation, we asked ourselves: What are our ruts? How does stepping out of our worn paths affect us positively, creatively, and inspirationally? How can this make us more objective in regarding the world around us? How does taking a moment to check in with ourselves, to ground ourselves where we are in nature, and to intentionally focus on that which is around us make us feel? The answers to these questions, just as the drawings that we made afterwards, were all very personal.

Thank you to those who joined me. I loved being with you in the shade of the cross-marked Tulip Tree.

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