Christmas eve crazy – I was in the middle of all the good stuff; the kids and the music, the cooking and the cleaning, lights and movies, Noel, oh well, and fa-la-la…
but I could feel the days and weeks of balancing sickness and celebration catching up with me…my own colours were fading as I poured out in different directions what was necessary and needed. Then I caught a glimpse of the sky from my kitchen window. And just like that, I grabbed my camera and flip-flopped out into a gale to follow the light and colour I saw swirling behind our tree line. I kept chasing that ever-changing scene, crossing our flooded stream and holding on to the ground so that I could reach some breath-taking beauty, so that I could breathe in the wild wonder of it for just a few precious minutes… I didn’t care about the cold or the mud or the possibility of burning cookies, I needed to be there in that place…to wonder as I wander once again…
A new year comes in a few short hours…most of us have no idea what it will bring. But just in case it’s crazy and busy and full of things we’ve not planned for, let us not forget to look out our window, to run to beauty – however fleeting – to get our toes in the dirt and feel this life as we live it.
Walking out my front door I am caught in a moment – something so beautiful confronts me that I am stilled and silent in the middle of my rushing. Before me is a display of colour and contrast that is overtaking the sky and I am altered by its fleeting light…hushed by its rolling melodies…
and my eyes are adjusted to focus further than the clock. and my mind is flooded with colour and possibilities. and my heart feels full.
A photograph cannot capture these moments in their entirety, but maybe they will inspire you to pause and consider your surroundings.
Where is beauty in today? Be encouraged.
After a season of stepping forward and productive creativity, I find myself being stripped right back. and now I am so unsure…
questioning if I was actually moving in the right direction, wondering if progress was really made at all.
Time to take a walk…
The fruit trees on our Scottish farm had a glorious season, but we couldn’t even see the plums for the foliage.
Now those leaves are stripped right back. In the stillness of this frosted morning, I spy the evidence of fruitfulness.
and that some fruit remains…
If you are in such a place – where all that was full seems empty – may I offer you this humble portion?
Yes, there is loss. We don’t always see the fruit of our labours.
But sometimes what looks to be lost may be for another season.
I love the change of seasons. It calls me outside to treasure-hunt new colours, shapes and textures unfolding in the landscape. This year’s unusual weather has brought us a whole new vista forming under the cover of our trees. I only discovered this after the children’s wild reports of interesting things. So, what do umbrellas, alien moons, a chalice, footstools, a jellyfish, twins, tree dreams and polka-dotted love hearts have in common? Let me show you…
Are you in a change of season? What does your new view look like? Sometimes, a change of season can be tough. And we have to bend low to see what good might be springing up out of that place. There can be wonderful things just beginning. May that be so for you in these September days. Be encouraged.
There’s a beautiful “hidden gem” in the middle of the famous St Andrews of Scotland that has nothing to do with golf whatsoever. It is the botanic garden begun in 1889 and developed further in the 1960s. I am always intrigued by the colours and textures that fill such a place. Weeks of sunshine and heat followed by rains pushed the growth of this garden to new levels. I enjoyed exploring it all…
Thank you for taking this walk with me. I hope it inspires you to discover the hidden beauty near you!
You’d think I was somewhere out at sea with all the watery hues swimming around my studio.
I’m immersing myself (pun totally intended) in the colours and flow of water in paint. Come October, I will be using these blues for a project. Until then, I’m diving my brush into the oceans as much as possible…
I am enjoying the process. It’s preparing me without the pressure of a looming deadline. Take some time to consider your prep – how can you take the pressure off and still go deep? Be encouraged!
We do not always recognize how much we have to give, what there is within us to access. Wisdom, experience, creativity, skill, talent, vision – these things can get locked down and covered with dust unless we purpose otherwise.
It was a very Tolkien day out on the farm with sun-lit mist and cloud. I decided to put everything aside for 20 minutes, grab my camera and tromp out into the freezing air to snap some pictures. The first photo is my favourite. I’ve done nothing to it – no cropping, no lighting, no filters. This picture is a combination of a moment in the atmosphere and my willingness to see it and engage with what I carry to get the shot.
These next photographs were taken on the same morning ~
I’ve worked on the lighting and colours to push them forward, to see where they could go…
After a long period of inactivity, I could have hesitated – I could have talked myself out of the moment. I’m so glad I didn’t.
What you have to give is waiting to be given.
Be encouraged today.