Living Deeply

If you go out in the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise...for every bear that ever there was, will gather there for certain because, today’s the day the Teddy Bears have their picnic!” (Teddy Bears Picnic)
This is what I was singing in my head, while wandering around to see deeply through the woods, as my friend Lori laid down on the forest floor to peer through her camera up into the treetops. It is so special to share adventures with a friend who has similar interests.

I am feeling the holiday rush of timelines. However, I am also feeling creative and I want to make some decorations. Last Sunday I purchased Cedar, Pine and Boxwood sprigs for my planters. Yet I still need to go for a walk along the river in a peaceful place to cut some Red Willow. Now the trail is covered in snow drifts and there is a wind chill which feels like polar temperatures along the river.
After looking into the photo above, I was inspired to make some ‘earthy’ looking decorations. You see, when I am outdoors I often find little treasures that inspire me to create something. Often these treasures end up in my Studio tucked away until that special moment. Sometimes those special moments are years away! However, I will always consider why it is, I would like to take home something from nature. As a moral practise, such as native cultures do, I will ask the natural object permission to bring them home with me. As well, leave behind a simple offering of gratitude. Be it thankful words, a penny, or some other exchange. There are times when my conscience or intuition stops me in my tracks.

So.... I wanted to make some decorations....Well all it took was my awesome artist friend Jan phoning me from another city to ask if I still had some Wasp nest paper left over and possibly enough to cover a fireplace mantle. I did not. But that led into a creative brainstorm session that inspired her with more ideas and I rediscovered all these gems. Such as dried Rosehips on a wire, Birch tree bark curls, Lichen, Poppy pod stars, Milkweed pods (great little Fairy Boats Janet!), wasp nest paper (great for decoupage) and Pumpkin and Squash stems of various sizes (you can never have enough, or maybe I am too soft hearted to throw them in the compost bin!). So now, what I need are some glue sticks, and I am into some serious fun!

My creative treasures have accumulated because photography has become a more important aspect of my life than ever before. Since buying new cameras in the past 2 years, I came to discover a renewed love for photography. I find when I am out doing Macro photography especially, I become very grounded, calm, and focused. It gives moments of respite from chronic pain. Time slows down and the colors and textures around me enrich my senses. It is fascinating to find tiny treasures like Wild Strawberries with bite marks from Mice nibbling away or ugly Fungi puffing out small clouds of tiny spores. When these magical moments occur, the small simple pleasures become cherished memories of the times we ‘connect to nature’. I must add that I have these same wonderful experiences in my back yard and garden.

We typically think of our first teachers as our parents, caregivers, community, culture, and country. However, what often tends to be overlooked is our connection to nature. From a ‘Deep Ecology’ view, the natural world is our first teacher. It is a gift waiting for us to discover its simplicity and beauty.

What if we took ourselves, or our children/grandchildren, or our family/ friends, and just go outside for a walk or a breath of fresh air to notice some simple and natural pleasures! On the other hand, bring something from nature outdoors, to someone indoors. Or open the curtains, take your coffee outside, and stare at the snowflakes (Well that is for us who live in the snow areas).

You know we have all been there, stressed out because we blew our budgets, or never got the Christmas cards out on time, or a relative arrived with the main gift being, “A Cold!”. You might disagree with me but, I believe getting outdoors is far more healthy than ‘numbing out’ with a few drinks to ease the performance stress during the holidays or the indifferences because we have to endure time with the relations that we perceive rock our boat. Sometimes we may feel unable to meet the social pressures at this celebratory time due to loss, grief, or loneliness for people we cherished, loved, or let us down. At times of great loneliness, doubt, or overwhelm, we can all feel connected by witnessing something magical or intriguing in nature. Ask a pressing question, or say a prayer and then let it go. You may even get a natural answer or inspiration to help you through.


What is Deep Ecology ?
Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess, was the first to coin the term Deep Ecology in 1973. He believes the core principal of deep ecology is, that like humanity, the living environment as a whole, has the same right to live and flourish. It is a deep subject with simple answers which invites a person to ask deeper questions concerning the “why” and “how” regarding the impacts of human life as one part of the ecosphere.

I have discovered a pleasant inspiring man on You Tube named, Satish Kumar. He teaches, lectures and runs workshops internationally in ecology, holistic education, and voluntary simplicity. He has a very interesting life story and someday I would like to read his books.

I like how he briefly describes Deep Ecology:

"In 2008, Satish Kumar presented a 50-minute documentary on the BBC as part of the 'Natural World' series. In the programme, Satish introduced the Dartmoor scenes and sights that most inspire him and contemplated the lessons they hold for humanity. A highly acclaimed documentary that mixed eastern philosophy with the western landscape of Dartmoor;
the programme was watched by over 3.6 million people"
As quoted from Satish Kumar's magazine website.
(Apparently this DVD is not available in North America yet, I hope it is soon!)
However we can watch it on You Tube
Earth Pilgrim – Satish Kumar 1-6

Do you remember finding special treasures in nature and felt as if they were a gift that came at a time when you were seeking guidance or answers during challenging times?

Have you ever noticed an increase in creativity when you were out in nature or thinking of times in nature?

A simple gift during the season can be to invite someone out for a walk, or drive, or bring something from the outdoors inside. Notice the natural smell, color and textures. Describe what attracts your attention and perhaps how it makes you feel!

Seasons Greetings Everyone!

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