There are many ponds creek beds, the lakeshore itself, and soft natural wetlands all within short drives, walks or bikes from my home. This afternoon I took my bike and sat while the red winged blackbirds sang their sweet songs, a rustle in the reeds led my eyes to a great blue heron, and a kingfisher laughed as he flew overhead. There is a wealth of winged ones that cross my path most moments of any given day.
Robert Bateman speaks eloquently and frequently on the importance of green spaces and the opportunity for artists to ingrain their value in the next generation. I learned my birds mostly in adult life, through my husbands grandmothers love and sharing that she instilled deeply in his heart and memory. What we love, we protect. I think that is a proven truth and when I photograph or paint nature, it is what I hope to share. My love for it – my wish for it to be protected. I feel the deepest gratitude for every day I can find myself a small space to blend into the woods or wetlands and allow life to happen all around me. On days when I can’t, I tend to read poetry by Mary Oliver and flip through books of Robert Batemans paintings, and think about when next my feet can walk on pine needles or sinking reed beds.
I will share some things given to me, my Aunt taught me always let the demands wait on the back burner if you have first a change to pick wildflowers or see the northern lights. The dishes will still be there when we get home, but the fireflies are time limited. Second, if you have small people in your life, give them a gift of walking in the woods and the shores. Teach them the names of the birds and the plants, they will be their guardians when we have returned to stardust. And lastly, whatever the weather, a part of every day your body allows is best spent outdoors, breathe in deeply, exhale gratitude. Thanks for stopping by.