The above can be taken literally, or figuratively, when exploring the outdoors. Both should be exercised often.
When hiking I forget to actually feel my surroundings. Tonight I took the time to feel the rocks, feel the flax, and imgaine what it would feel like to dive into this huge bank of clouds. One's interaction with the natural world is all based on perception. How do you perceive the woods you are standing in, the mountain you are summiting, and the ocean water you are swimming in?
In my younger years I was a competitive cyclist, triathlete, and mountain biker. There is no doubt in my mind, when biking, running, and swimming, the only thing I felt was the sweet pain of the competition. There were very few times I actually took the time to take in my surroundings, and truly feel what it was like to be in some amazing places. I still love to push my physical limits, but if there is an opportunity to immerse myself in the moment, I will wholeheartedly take it.
One such instance is pictured below. While riding up at Coronet Peak, with my friends Rob and Tamara, I decided to stop and capture them descending. After they were out of sight, I took another 5-10 minutes to process the beautiful views all around me.
Get outside and feel your surroundings (just don't pet any skunks)!