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Mini Series: Fountains of Inspiration

May is the official month of spring. The flowers in full bloom, the warming of the Earth as the sun strengthens, or rather, we move closer to it for a season of growth and abundance. If the season around us is awakening and creating such beauty, who are we to kick a gift horse in the mouth? Instead, why not take what the season has to offer and join it in creating in abundance. The blooming of beauty in spring is a well from which we can draw copious amounts of inspiration, whether from the visual beauty of colour and new growth, or the metaphor of life growing and moving forward with a heady recklessness, the inspiration we can gather is a true season of delight.

We’ve discussed the elusive nature of the muses and their fickle flutterings of inspiration before (HERE). This time around I want to focus on the different places we hunt for inspiration and the mechanics by which we come to tease out those sparks of an idea. In the coming weeks we will be diving into materials we turn to for inspiration and the specifics of what I’m digging into in those areas to find it.

In this inaugural mini series post, we are looking at the inspiration fountain of nature. The seasons are a fascinating dance of change and beauty, none more so than that of spring. In the reviving of colour after winter’s long slumber, in the song of the birds after the silence of snowfall, and in the struggle of the fresh shoot poking through half frozen soil, spring is the epitome of creativity - a perfect depiction of the beauty and growth and tenacity of the creative shaking off the block and coming into their season of inspiration and abundance once again.

I love working outdoors. In the sense that having a cold drink in one hand, my laptop open, and sunglasses keeping the harsh light out of my eyes is working outside. My husband and I love hiking and going on long walks by the Welland canal as the highschool rowing team trains, children play at the playground, and families feed the ducks on the bank. I’ve begun walking the few blocks to church every Sunday, rain or shine, and have found that the fresh air alone breathes new life into me. Lately, when my husband is out in the yard working to cultivate a garden, I sit out on the porch to write or read. We have plans, dreams really, of screening in our second story porch so we can sit out in the evenings and have the cats join us - we open the windows now and it hasn’t occurred to them to even press at the screens, let alone scratch holes through them.

Nature, I think, has this pull on us because it is so damn good at humbling us. It is the original creation, the first one in our world. Though it may be chaotic at times, it always comes through and creates this magic we only get a glimpse of. There is comfort in knowing that we move through those seasons of change too, that creatives make in the same space of chaos and order in which nature exists. When we stop to examine it, to take it in with all our senses, we find bits of ourselves reflected back. We find inspiration in the way a tree has grown with knots and nests in its branches. It gifts us with the muse on a quiet evening walk along the water, the breeze teasing out ideas that were only echoes mere moments before they were awakened. The inspiration of a butterfly emerging, fluttering about when days before it only knew the ground. The inspiration isn’t always an idea or a theme, sometimes the inspiration is the reminder that like nature, like the butterfly, we too can grow, overcome, and soar through the sky.

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