Panel from the opening cartoon of ‘Take this Book for a Walk’

Ever had one of those days when you feel like you’re swimming through mud, and getting nowhere? Or maybe feeling bewildered at all the strange things happening in the world, and exhausted by it all?

This is how I felt yesterday, and I’m sure I’m not alone in these feelings. Especially because we all need to adjust, in many different ways, to the new world after COVID-19.

Imagine my delight then, at receiving the generous feedback of Year 7 students who are using my new book ‘Take this Book for a Walk’ as part of their curriculum. It was like a blast of fresh air and fresh inspiration to keep going.

Kelly Pfeiffer, Head Teacher of Futures Learning, at the Dubbo School of Distance Education, had asked her students this: How have students benefited emotionally from nature journaling (reduced stress and/or feeling happier). Give examples of how.

Kelly’s students were asked to post their responses on a feedback board. And this is what they said:

It’s made me see nature in a different way then what i did before.”

“I feel happy because i can get outside and explore” – W

“The book made me happy because i got to connect with nature and have a nice calming time” – D

“I feel happy because I know more about nature than I did before I started this book.” – C

“Happy because i can go outside but still be doing school” – T

“I have benefited because being outside and listening to the sounds of nature e.g. a fairy wren bird singing makes me realise what a great place in the world we live.” – E

“I get to go outside and that makes me happy. It is good if you are stressed about schoolwork so you can take a break” – C

“Happy, because I can play with my dogs and I can feel the cold breeze, i also like nature a lot” – K

“I love this book! It is relay wonderful to get off the computer and get out into nature and draw it all. It makes me feel happy and calm i feel so much better when i’m out in nature AND i’m drawing!” – S

“it gives me time on my own and time to think about stuff.” – O

“I like the book because it gets my mind off things and makes me less stressed. It’s also a good escape when I’m angry or stuff like that.” – C

“Once again this book revealed stress and helped me to constrain it because I got to connect with nature” – D

“I like this book because sometimes it is nice to go outside and draw or write things down, and get things off the mind or just sit there” – A

Thank you so much kids. These are some of the feelings I get when I nature journal, which is why I regard it as a powerful and life-changing pastime. Being able to share the many benefits of nature journaling with you, through my book, makes me feel happy too!

And a big thanks to Kelly Pfeiffer for being an awesome teacher, and for understanding the value of nature journaling.

I now have fresh energy and inspiration to continue…. 🙂 On with the next book(s)!

Take this Book for a Walk: A step-by-step guide to nature journaling was first published in May 2020 and can be purchased from my online store.