Like some other lovers of literature, I’m a bit too prone to have my nose in a book all the time and forget about the world around me. So when I bought a notebook with blank pages by mistake, instead of my usual ruled journal, I thought it might be a good chance to do some nature observation. I’ve dabbled in drawing at various times in my life, but as with so many other artistic pursuits have let it fall away. Some workshops I participated in recently reminded me that drawing from nature can be a part of inner work and spiritual practice, and motivated me to try it again.
Though my efforts don’t hold a candle to the real thing, I’m pleased with them anyway. The activity of looking closely and letting my mind go into the mode of line and color rather than into words is soothing, and good for me when I tend to be anxious and over-reactive. I hope I can make this a regular part of my life.
As I was looking around for subjects, I saw this amazing plant that I had never noticed in flower before — with green balls of smaller pentagonal buds, gradually unfurling into complex star-shaped flowers dangling on long pink stems. What was it??
From my drawing, my son said it looked like milkweed, and he was right. I had noticed the pods with their silky contents spilling out later in the year, but not these astonishing flowers! See what I mean about not looking at the world around me?
I’m going to try to be better about that, and actually see what is in front of my nose. Do you have any activity that helps you to read the book of Nature?