Published July 20166 in Nanaimo Magazine, Voyager Magazine & EyesOnBc Magazine
What is it that awakens inside us and calls us to be one with nature, to be one with the great outdoors?
I am fascinated with every aspect of nature; from the tortured striations and upheaval visually evident in the Rocky Mountains, caused by shifting subterranean plates; to the delicate, translucent veins of a dragonfly’s wings – and everything in between. Even when I’m creating art in my studio: I long to be outside immersed in nature.
There is something tangible, almost palpable, that puts me at ease. And yet I feel more stimulated and excited as person in the open air. I love what George Carlson once said about plein air painting: “Working outdoors or from life puts you in direct contact with the life force, not just the light and the landscape, but also the vitality of the world around you.” That’s profound… contact with the life force, that’s it!
At this moment, paused on a trail in a high altitude forest of Banff National Park, I am mesmerized by the sound of the wind. But it isn’t exactly the wind I hear. It is the sound of millions of delicate little wind chimes, playing a soft melody as it moves through the trembling aspens in front of me. Tall and slender, with white trunks glowing, I visually follow the silvery green, dancing leaves as they quiver and flutter, waving to me. I once read that the Okanagan people used to be able to predict storms from the movement of aspen leaves, even when there was no apparent wind.
I believe that being in tune with nature is one of the greatest gifts one can nurture. We depend on our reverence of nature for our very survival. It is freeing and life giving! It’s magical! And it is as humbling as it is divine.