Soaking it in: Taking a moment to share the beauty of water

Drawing in the park with friends (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)

Drawing in the park with friends (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)

June 27, 2022 | by Mariam Qureshi

Sometimes you don’t have to go far to enjoy nature or have a science degree to understand it. Water is key to our well-being. Soaking in the peaceful views of a pond or spending time around it can greatly help us understand this precious resource and motivate us to care for it.

Recently, after going for a short walk around my neighbourhood in Edmonton, I came across a pond. In the past, whenever I was in the mood for light exercise, such as walking, I considered going to the gym. I didn't think that a light walk around the neighbourhood could be as healthy. Seeing all the lush, green plant life, hearing the blackbirds sing and seeing the ducks swimming was refreshing and inspirational. I felt so relaxed and energized. To see that water was supporting so much life around me was astonishing.

Since then, I have enjoyed walking and discovering new ponds and woods near my house. The more I went for walks, the more I wanted to share what I saw.

  • Incredible sunsets in the wetlands, Alberta (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Incredible sunsets in the wetlands, Alberta (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)
  • Nest box overlooking the water (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)
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  • His looks though! Male mallard duck (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)
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    His looks, though! Male mallard duck (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)
  • The pond is visited by many kinds of wildlife (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)
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    The pond is visited by many kinds of wildlife (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)
  • Tranquility 2022 (Oil painting by Mariam Qureshi)
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    Tranquility 2022 (Oil painting by Mariam Qureshi)
  • Painting by the pond with friends (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    Painting by the pond with friends (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)

 

As a hobby, I sometimes paint, so I started to bring my easel to the pond. People would occasionally stop by to watch. I noticed they were spending more and more time staying around instead of just walking, and looking more carefully and closer at nature around us. Together, we would talk about how sometimes in our busy lives, it can be easy to pass by a pond without noticing how beautiful the sunlight can be when it is reflecting on the surface of the water or become curious about what is growing in the bushes by the edges.

Clouds by @metayogayeg, painted at the pond with Mariam (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)

Clouds by @metayogayeg, painted at the pond with Mariam (Photo by Mariam Qureshi)

Taking that extra moment or spending time in nature naturally helped us pay more attention to it. A few times, some people asked me to teach them to paint what was inspirational to them. It was fun! I got to give art lessons at the pond and paint with people. They spent time in nature, walked around and enjoyed.

I still think to myself that I didn’t do much for the conservation of water, but my small act of “soaking it up” enabled us (me and people who came around) to gain a deeper appreciation for everything water has to offer.

Learn more about "soaking it up" and how you can participate in other Small Acts of Conservation here >

    

    

   

Mariam Qureshi

About the Author

Mariam Qureshi is a painter, and she also volunteers with the Nature Conservancy of Canada in her spare time.

Read more about Mariam Qureshi.

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