Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy — your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.
Country sounds are louder, more melodic, than you can imagine. Sitting on my back deck I hear a symphony of sounds: a woodpecker at work in the woods, robins, crows, and a half dozen other birds I can’t identify singing their little hearts out. There’s a bird in the far feeder squawking at any other birds coming near his breakfast, and a squirrel or two chitting and chatting at something moving in and around him. Now and then an airplane roars past from the heavens, and the neighbor down the way is running his tractor through the fields.
This is when I enjoy sound the most. No blaring TVs, no obnoxious radio stations; no yelling or swearing or scolding.
Most of my life I lived in the suburbs, and there was music out there, too. Just a different tune was played. The morning symphony of birds singing was joined by traffic on the busy street a block away. Summers brought out the sounds of kids in the neighborhood playing (mine included), dogs barking, lawnmowers buzzing, a rumbling truck passing by now and then.
This was when I enjoyed sound the most, too. No blaring TVs, no obnoxious radio stations, no yelling or swearing or scolding.
I think most of us lose touch with the songs of nature along the way. We are in the office from early morning until late afternoon. We are driving here, there, and everywhere. We are at soccer games and grocery stores and classes. We have to deal with computers, telephones, bosses, co-workers, talk shows, housework … the list is endless.
We never get a chance to just sit and listen to life around us. We are too busy, too responsible, too many tasks and not enough time.
I know. I’ve been there. Many days I’m still there.
That’s why everyone needs to take time to listen to the flow of life around them. We need to reconnect with the other side of life. The musical side. The sunshine side. The inspirational side.
No matter what our current situation, there is always time to get inspired. That’s where creativity comes from. Where it feeds from. Where it bursts open and spreads more seeds from.
City, suburb, countryside. It doesn’t matter. Get up early one morning and listen to the sounds around you.
You’ll be surprised how much life is going on — with or without you.
Is there a view that inspires you every time you experience it? Music that makes you want to write or paint or knit or carve? Walks or vistas or scenery that triggers your creative muse?
Years ago I used to walk the path behind the University in my town. The paths took me past an open field, into the woods, down groomed and ungroomed paths, to a spot where a huge tree had fallen to its forever-sleep position some time earlier.
I used to dream on those paths. I planned my B&B strategy there, my novels, my travels, the new-and-improved ME there. A lot of stories came to light in those woods — a lot of love and angst and fantasy came alive as I walked in early morning sunlight or late afternoon twilight.
That was many years ago. Before retirement, before grandbabies, before the pandemic. Days when I vainly tried to turn my data computer job into a writing job. When I dreamed of being published or being thinner or whatever daydreams haunted my world back then.
What made me think about this question today was that I drove down a winding road this morning on my way to the Vet. A road that I haven’t driven on, really, since I left/was let go of my job.
This drive inspired two novels and a couple of short stories and at least one poem I can think of. I hadn’t driven down this road for so long I’d forgotten what inspiration felt like.
I now walk my own little patch of woods, looking for faeries and a cornfield that leads to another world and an archway that takes me to Paris. I think my Angel Tears are somewhere in there, too.
But I think it’s time to walk a new woods. Sit on a new shore. Time to find inspiration in a new place, while keeping a foot in my current one.
It’s time to experience the transcending moment true inspiration brings.
How about you?
Japanese photographer Miki Asai is an incredibly talented macro photographer who explores a miniature world of stones, flowers, water, and insects – mostly within her own garden.She has a knack for shooting the big world of tiny things that can rarely be seen by the naked eye.Her amazing macro photos reflect her magnified worldview, personal passion, and curiosity.It all began when she got her macro lens and started taking beautiful photos in her garden.Asai, who lives on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, is opposed to controlling insects in her macro photography shots.“I learned that when it comes to living things—if you want to achieve the interesting photo look that’s in your head — patience is really the only way,” she said.“You’ve got to use a tripod, an appropriate shutter speed and depth of field, then rely on your own passion and patience.”More of Miki Asai‘s amazing photography can be found at https://500px.com/p/mikichobi?view=photos.
There is a waterfall in every dream. Cool and crystal clear, it falls gently on the sleeper, cleansing the mind and soothing the soul.
from the forest floor emerges another universeWearing Rings Like Saturn — leaf and twig
Some people meet the way the sky meets the earth, inevitably, and there is no stopping or holding back their love. It exists in a finished world, beyond the reach of common sense. ~ Louise Erdrich
Vesna Krasnec is a self-taught artist living in Vienna.
The viewer finds a world in which man, as a seeker, has found his destination in the Garden of Eden. In this garden we rediscover our lost innocence.Through her distinctive talent for drawing and her strong compositions, Krasnec is able to convey her image idea with conviction and in a forceful way to the people. She keeps away from today’s common attitudes to want to be modern in the art scene, knowing that all contemporary and current are short lived.
She believes that it is only important that her work retains the authenticity which is the characteristic of an art that originated in the middle of the person.More of Vesna Krasnec‘s work can be found at http://vesna-krasnec.com.
Everything is so bare. The trees, the field grass. I know its bubbling beneath the surface. It has more patience than me. Spring can’t be far if I hear the mourning dove’s song. Or the wikka wee of the red winged blackbird.
I have lived 64 years upon this Earth. I only hope for 64 more.
There is a convention going on in the trees across the field. The tweeting of the birds mix and meld into one gorgeous wake up call. It almost sounds as if they’re all in that one tall pine tree.
No sleep for a while, dear tree.
What was once a cornfield is now a young woods. It’s amazing how quickly Mother Nature takes back her own. It was her world first, anyway. I’m always looking for wildlife as I walk the trails around my house. The frogs don’t count. I do see tons of deer tracks in the mushy ground, though.
That’s a good sign.
No llamas next door today. I dare hope they weren’t sold for human consumption. The world is what it is, though. I’ll keep positive thoughts.
The trees have stayed smart. They’re not budding yet. Once the sun sets and rises, though, that may be a different story. Time moves so differently here. Oh dear — I was mistaken. Certain trees and/or bushes just can’t help themselves.
I don’t blame them.
Bright green moss grows on the trail. As the sun sets it’s almost fluorescent. I follow the glow. Bad storms have knocked many of the old trees over. It’s sad, really. Their once magnificent branches now are nothing more than barren tree trunks and limbs. Ahhh…but to have seen them in their glory! What tales they could tell! But they, like us, have no more tales to tell.
This walk is turning sad. That wasn’t the intent. The intent was to observe. To dream. To record. But sad is the other side of the coin called happy, isn’t it?
And so it is.
I found a golf ball on the farthest back trail. I can only imagine its story. But I shall not ask. I’ve come to a fork in the road. One trail edges the field, another meanders through the woods. Sparse the woods may be, but there is shadow here. Magic is afoot.
I must pay attention.
The coolness of the woods is different from the field. Dried leaves replace the moss. The trail challenges me to follow. I cannot resist. My stories are in here. The back end of my property rests upon a barbed wire fence, which separates me from the cornfield beyond. There is nothing now except stubby stalks. But when the corn is high and full…I wrote a story about a girl who walked through the rows of corn. Walked and walked until she came upon another world.
I need to finish that story.
My poor broken bench. Mildewed, still standing like a bent soldier. I dragged that bench back to the edge so I could sit and reflect the world I couldn’t see. The moments I needed to see. I shall fix that old bench.
There are dreams and stories I still need to see.
The thistled mess across from the bench will soon bloom thick and green. Impenetrable. Protecting its children from the madness of the outside world. And I think. I often wonder if I could just give it all up. The job. TV. The Internet. If I could just sit and write and walk and write and clean house and write. Or paint. Or draw. Listen to music and just be one with the seasons. Sleep when I’m tired, move when I’m awake. If I could leave it all behind.
I don’t think I want to know the answer.
The wind blows harder back here as it travels across the empty field. It reminds me that it’s barely spring. That Mother is up one day and down the next. The goosebumps on my arm make me agree. Up the leaf-covered path, I head towards the setting light.
A slain king blocks my way, On second thought, he is too skinny to be a king. His fate was more of the knightly variety. A victim of the storm too, his slender trunk arches enough for me to pass. The rustling of dead leaves hanging at the end of empty branches sing a light and hollow song. Even in the summer.
It’s like this back here.
Moss is a mighty thing. It peeks through the fallen leaves and clings to the fallen tree trunks. Yet it grows. Year after year. Surface after surface. A marvelous part of evolution. As I walk I see my sitting stone jutting out of the ground. In a month I will be hard pressed to find it. But the sun is setting and the chill is following. I nod in respect to the boulder of knowledge.
I will be back.
The setting sun is blinding me as I walk up the hill. It is as if it doesn’t want me to see where I’m going. Doesn’t it know. I never know where I’m going. I turn one last time, searching for a deer or a rabbit or a hawk or an elf.
I see none.
The storm made chaos out of these old woods. Branches are scattered and entwined at the end of the path. Perhaps if I were coming the other way I would see a barricade built by a dragon to keep humans out. At the end of the path on the right are several dirt mounds. Legend has it there was a house back here once, but I see no trace. But the mounds will soon be covered with daylilies.
Maybe that was the mother’s favorite flower.
Here lies the king. His huge trunk blocks the path. Right at the edge of the grass. Right at the edge of civilization. Part of me wants to let him rest here. He’s done his duty.
Rest in peace.
I’ve come to the end of the trail. Cultivated grass leads to a house. Inside is my computer, my music. My now. Perhaps my future. If I were to stay true to the path’s direction, I would find a whole other trail that would lead around and through the front of the property. I know the fae live there. A time warp, too.
But not today.
If I hold onto something for tomorrow, maybe I’ll never have to leave this world. For there will always be a tomorrow.
I can live believing that.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. ~~ Henry David Thoreau
Sculptural artist Spencer Byles spent a year creating beautiful sculptures out of natural and found materials throughout the unmanaged forests of La Colle Sur Loup, Villeneuve Loubet and Mougins, France.
Surrounded by flora and fauna, Spencer used only cables and natural, found materials to create his stunning, large-scale works of art.
One of the most beautiful things about his work is its temporary nature.
The pieces were not intended to last — as life itself, each sculpture will eventually be reclaimed by the natural environment that helped Byles shape it.
Spencer says, “The temporary nature of my sculptures is an important aspect of my experiences and understanding. I feel my sculptures are only really completed when nature begins to take hold again and gradually weave its way back into the materials. At this point it slowly becomes part of nature again and less a part of me.”
More about Spencer Byles and his fantastic forest art can be found at:
A beautiful evening for beautiful images!
Last October I created a Sunday Evening Art Gallery in here called Trees (http://wp.me/s1pIBL-trees).
And since it is Spring, and trees are budding and blooming, I have opened a new gallery in THE Sunday Evening Art Gallery called….yes….Trees!
Come and see the diversity Mother Nature shares in the form of Trees.
by Claude McKay
Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol’n away.
Find more poetry from Claude McKay at http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/claude-mckay
Find more images of real snowflakes at SnowCrystals.com
The crispness of the evening crackled around me as I sat on the rustic bench at the edge of the harvested cornfield. I was on a mission; I was determined to watch the moon rise over the horizon. I had toddled down the path through the woods behind my house, laptop in hand, hoodie tied tight around my head. There was rustling about — shuffling and shifting somewhere in the distance as creatures large and small began to find shelter for the night. I sat quietly, laptop on my legs, waiting for the crest of the moon’s edge to peek over the farthest boundary line of earth.
There was more shuffling through the skeletal bushes as the shadows grew around me. I pushed away flashes of monsters and rabid raccoons and embraced the thought of it being a bird or squirrel. Little, gentle things. My query was soon answered in the form of a large black bird that appeared on the branch of the tree in front of me. Her beady eyes blinked at me, her head tilted slightly. “What in the world are you doing here so late? Go home! It will be a cold one tonight!” she scolded. I agreed with the bird, watching her shimmy and shake before disappearing into the woods. She was no fool; it was indeed getting chilly.
My fingertips began to numb as my eyes kept watch through the barbed wire fence, across the harvested cornfield, past the ridge of trees and farms to the horizon in the distance. As the evening sky turned from lavender ribbons to purple shadows, thoughts of previous generations ran through me. Who knows what our ancestors thought when they looked up at the night time sky? I knew that the Andromeda Galaxy glowed in one of the legs of the W of Cassiopeia, and the right side of the cup of the Little Dipper pointed upwards to the North Star. But the locals had taken their own spin on astronomy, leaving me wondering about my long-held beliefs. Does Apollo ride his steeds through the Wisconsin sky just as he did in Greece? Is the constellation Orion actually the outline of a football player getting ready to throw a pass? Does the pointer star really always point towards a tavern?
The crow returned, landing very near on the post beside me. She wondered what I was still doing there. I was an alien here. That, and I probably smelled like garlic from my spaghetti dinner. I tried sitting very still, but the bird had never seen a wild woman hanging around on this bench at this hour, and squawked that fact to anyone who would listen. Finally, after making her point, she took off in a huff. Point taken. Yet this stranger in a hoodie still hung around. Sunset gave way to darkness, moonrise only minutes away. Anticipation grew inside of me.
Where was the full round beauty that taunted mere mortals with her presence? Where was the crest of her silver hair above the horizon? She was the goddess of the night, the seductress in the midnight blue wrap. Her dark cape sparkled with distant flecks of existence; yet in her full glory there was no star that could match her brilliance. How silent these woods had suddenly become. I sat in vigilant dedication, my shivering the only noticeable movement. I could not see my fingers, my letters, my writing. A subtle numbness started to creep down from the tips of my gloves, yet still I waited. Darkness had covered the wilderness, forcing me to pay closer attention to everything around me.
Suddenly, a loud crash and shuffling came from my left. Bigfoot! Hodag! Tyrannosaurus Rex! But, no! Too light-footed! It had to be a deer crashing through the bramble. The hoofed steps stopped on the path, listening. All was silent. We both held our breaths, she in the woods, I on the bench. My heart exploded, leaving me wanting to turn around just for a peek. Turn! Just turn! But I couldn’t. Wouldn’t. What a dip! The moment stretched into an eternity, until finally the doe walked the other way, crunching the leaves in her wake. She must have been making her way to the cornfield, circling away from the soft glow of the computer screen and the odd scent of garlic. I can’t say that I blamed her.
Finally the moment had come. The first pinpoint of light in the distance — She appeared! But gasp upon gasps! What was this? Her crown was not the color of ghosts or spider webs — the Lady’s mane was red! My Goddess of the Night was a crimson-haired tart! Full and round, she rose majestically through the black distance, the world stopping for a moment to honor her presence. Her red mane radiated over the valley and poured across the landscape, Her round orb was breathtaking! Sassy! The Moon Goddess watched over that magical night with the grace of a queen with her crown of rubies. She was beautiful in her new outfit — proof that women could change their appearance whenever they wished. They could be feminine and pure and complex and naughty with merely a change of color — or thought. It was the delight of being female, the magic of the power within.
Eventually I closed my laptop, extinguishing the last remains of my human presence. Her aura slowly turned back to haunting white, glowing enough to light my path back home. I promised to come visit again, not only when she was at her fullest, but also when she was merely a slice rising in the distant dark sky,
And in return, I heard her say that she’d come to my house for garlic spaghetti any time.