Musings on Life's Journey

Our Journey: Creativity, Reflection and a Love Affair with Nature

Sometimes we need to write our thoughts down in order to understand them. We are never quite sure what is inside of us until we start to write, to paint or to go through the creative process. I forget this sometimes. In fact, I often forget this. A reminder came this afternoon when I sat down and pondered our recent ‘love affair with nature’.

painting of butterflies bubbles and swathes of blues and greens - in the top left corner is the phrase Be creative - encouraging the reader to use their creativity

My mind still holds a belief that I need to know where I am going with something, be it in my writing or my painting. I know I need to work at that and to change my mindset. I am strengthening the ‘muscle’ that believes instead, that if I just pick up the pen, if I start to type or if I just open my art journal, then something will flow and to go with it. Just as important, is that belief of not having to be perfect, of simply letting go and just write, paint or create whatever you ‘feel’.

Broens and blues in swirly circles with the words 'Have the courage to be imperfect" - encouraging the reader to use their creativity and to not be afraid of imperfection

Today, I am letting that flow occur … and it feels good. This afternoon, I sat down to write an article on a small nature reserve we visited near Porto, in Portugal. I have photos of the wildlife and wanted to create a photo story – a walk with us through the park. That post will have to happen another day. It began well. I named the park we visited and began to write. However, then I kind of went astray…

I’m not sure why the visit to the Parque Biologico de Gaia, Portugal, was so thrilling for us. It’s not like we hadn’t seen a lot of the wildlife featured ever before. As I ponder what captured our enthusiasm for the place, there are a few thoughts swirling around in my head.

A photo represent ting the love affair with nature -A small waterfall with a river bank in the foreground with white snowdrop flowers and grasses

Firstly, for us, we are often excited by nature. It can be really simple things that capture our attention. For example, we can be enthusiastic about new spring buds coming through on the trees, wildflowers peeping their way through craggy rocks and we delight in the music of the birds tweeting around us.

I’m not sure what has happened – it all seems ‘new’. It’s like we are seeing things for the first time. I’m still not sure why, but it is invigorating, refreshing and energizing.

Perhaps we have more time to notice things. There are fewer distractions, less pressures. We are no longer caught up in the ‘rat race’; the get up, go to work, come home, eat, sleep, repeat… We have more time to ponder, to enjoy, to relax.

Maybe we are looking more closely at our surroundings as we document our travels. We both have a new-found interest in photography. Therefore, it’s possible that this acute awareness of nature is because we have more reason to pay attention to our surroundings.

In addition, I could suggest that we have quietly ‘changed’. It has been almost a year since we left Australia. Our journey in the campervan has already taken us through over twenty countries. That in itself has an impact on who you are. You are no longer the same. You have experienced new sights and sounds and social interactions. Communicating in a different language in a foreign land can often be heart-warming  but can also be confusing as hell! You cannot stay the same.

For us, I think we have become humble, more empathetic, and more thankful for the life we are living. Seeing more of the world has resulted in us feeling smaller, in the sense of being part of a bigger world, in contrast to just being part of a local community.

As a result, maybe we feel more connected to the world, more connected to Mother Earth and an increased awareness of her beauty.

Another idea is that this love affair with nature was always there. It has just not had the right environment to flourish.

I remember as a child of about eight or nine visiting a local river with my family. Whilst my parents lazed by the river, and my brother splashed around in the water, I went wandering.

a bright green wooded scene with trees and whimsical coloured dots to show it was a magical place.

There was a heavily forested strip of land behind the river. It had rickety, little wooden bridges over tiny slow flowing streams; thick, spongy, bright green moss clinging to old tree stumps and the floor of the forest was carpeted with a dense coat of pine needles with the odd patch of grass sneaking through. The sounds were muffled here in the woods. The voices of children playing by the river were there, but not there. The crackle of twigs beneath the feet, the sounds of birds and the gentle sound of the trickling water gently guiding the stray leaves and twigs along, were all there.

The sun crept through the trees in certain parts. Here the moss was even softer, the grass grew thick among the pine needles and the area lit up like a mystical wonderland. Well, at least that’s how I remember it as an eight year old. I imagined I lived there with my two trusty companions,  a spotted baby deer and a long-eared rabbit. I played imaginary games for hours in that little magical place. It was always my ‘Happy Place’.

So… perhaps that ‘love affair with nature’ has always been there but just got lost and forgotten in the growing up process.

Who knows why our senses are suddenly more attuned to the flora and fauna around us. Whatever the reasoning, we have awakened a new wonderment of the natural world and as a result, we find joy in the simplest of things everywhere. We no longer just look – we see.

So there you have it … my going with the creativity flow! Not quite the post I was expecting but none the less, a post!

I didn’t really think about any of this before I started to type. I had an inner sense of increasingly enjoying nature but hadn’t realised quite how pronounced it was. Neither had I stopped to ponder any of these reasons until I started this post and actually questioned why we have this tangible love affair with nature. The process of writing down these thoughts gave me more clarity.

Three identical photos in aline with daisys in the foreground and yellow daffodils slightly blurred in the background.

Do you have a love affair with nature? Have you changed over time? How do you approach your creativity?

So many queries, qualms and questions from just one random article.  I can already feel that these questions may not be fully answered and require more thought!

Changing your mindset can help you overcome so many obstacles. It has been life-changing for me. If you want to read more about my journey and changing your own mindset then have a read of  ‘Mindset: Take Control and Make your Life your Own!

If you enjoyed this post and even if you read to the end 🙂 – Please leave a comment – I’d love your feedback, to hear your experiences and/or tell me what you ponder!

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Author: Michelle

After finishing my Law Degree I decided to become a teacher. I am passionate about teaching, learning and most of all, about inspiring others. Now, as a writer and blogger, I love sharing our travels and our musings on life’s journey. I hope, through these, we can play a part in inspiring you to do whatever ‘satisfies your soul’.

4 Comment

  1. Delightful reading, thank you for sharing. Journey through your eyes, great stuff, love to you both from drought stricken GB

  2. This is such a beautiful and personal piece Michelle. It’s funny how what I feel like I need to express actually comes out differently when I sit down to do it, like writing. The story takes on a life on it’s own and develops as I write it.

    My love affair with nature spawned after a trip to the Northern Territory in Australia, then later a trip to Iceland. Nothing inspires me or centers me quite like being treading on pipping hot sand or climbing a glaciers of Iceland 🙂

    1. Thank you Michele – it’s so interesting that what must be in our sub-conscious, presents itself in the writing process. I agree, nature has a great way of re-awakening the senses. Michelle 🙂

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