When you were a kid maybe you passed a summer afternoon laying on your back, without a care in the world, finding shapes in the clouds. For most of us, we can’t remember the last time we slowed down enough to do this (or if we could let our imaginations still “find” anything at all)!

Now that I’m old and grown, I like to refer to this practice as sky-swimming (it’s gonna be a thing, mark it!). This is something I often find myself doing in the warmer months and 90% of the time it’s in my backyard. Right around sunset — which is conveniently the witching hour for small children — I holler at my husband that I’m going for a swim and head out the backdoor. He knows what I mean, my neighbors probably not so much. ::shrugs::

In the winter, with the absence of leaves, looking upwards at the forest canopy can make you feel like you dove headfirst into a topographic map. The contour lines of the bare branches stretch across a sea of blue. 

Take a minute.

Lay down. 

Look up.

Breathe.

Let your imagination unfurl.

I’m not asking you to go full Wim Hof here. Pretend you’re Elsa, or better yet, grab a blanket or tarp, lay down, and “go swimming.” It may be cold, but I have yet to find a simpler way to shift perspective.

I’ve noticed this year that the kids have been following suit and even prompting me to do this on our hikes. As much as I love sit spots, it can be a tough expectation for kiddos. Sky swimming gives them something to imagine while shifting their perspective. And sometimes it’s the only moment they’re quiet for the entire day — I wish I were exaggerating.