Fall equinox is transition time from active summer to cooler, darker days. It is a time to return to studies, reconnect and self-reflect. We each have different aptitudes for learning; diverse approaches work for us. How we experience the natural world can be a reminder of unique “smarts” and strengths.

For the musically smart, it is the sounds of nature that draw a deep emotional response. Bat clicks, howling coyotes or the depth of a frog croak resonate. A wave crashing on sand lingers as the strongest memory from a walk on the beach. The musically adept distinguish song intricacies not obvious to others; a gull call differs from the tern.

For people who are body smart, movement is the biggest thrill in nature. When hiking a trail, the body understands and responds to the topography. For these kinesthetically adept, climbing rocks with all four limbs resonates and peaking the mountain highlights the nature experience.

group hike.jpgThe socially smart love nature when it includes other people. Sharing stories around the campfire, group hikes, meeting others on the trail and exchanging experiences is essential. Folks with strong interpersonal skills have a deeper connection when they can discuss the landscape or a wildlife sighting.

Some are self-smart, thriving with solo time in nature. Driven by strong intrapersonal intelligence, you find time to journal, reflect and plan for the future. Solo nature experience offers the opportunity to understand oneself, challenge boundaries, learn to pace, meditate.

The art-smart learn best through visual stimuli. Moved by the colors of the seasons or light levels between habitats (i.e., from woodland to deep forest), this strength inspires photography, sketching, and nature illustration.illustration_nature_art

The verbal and linguistic smart use language to connect. Nature poetry or natural history stories resonate. Imagine understanding wildlife courtship or alarm vocalizations. These folks are the Lorax who “speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues!”

The mathematically-minded connect to the numbers in nature – the height of a peak, distance of a trail, lines on the contour map. These logical thinkers ponder population dynamics, the balance of wildness and development, critical thinking and problem-solving.

The naturalist intelligence feels most at home in the wild. S/he nurtures the desire to identify, group, label and find relationships in nature through touch, sight, taste, smell, sound and intuition.

These learning intelligences exist on a unique spectrum for each individual. May nature be a catalyst for your self-awareness. Honor your strengths. Follow your heart.