Photo Essay Series
By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
This is the eighth of my photo essay series featuring images from YourCreativeChord’s newly designed 2020 nature photo calendars. The calendars include monthly self-care themes highlighting strategies for nurturing your creativity and inspiration.
I woke up one wintry morning to find that it had snowed. Bundled up, I went outside just past sunrise to explore. My fleece-lined boots pounded the first footprints into the snow as I made my way to the end of the parking area. Four inches of snow covered everything with an immaculate layer of gleaming white. The dreamy scene of a soft-hued sky over rolling white hills and tree silhouettes inspired the poet in me.
Though it was cold, I lost myself in the splendor of this romantic scenic view, mesmerized like a child, by the clumps of snowy evergreen branches and the morning sky’s mellow pastel colors of blue, orange, pink, purple and yellow. The light of early morning permeated the vista with a tranquil glow.
Winter is often used to symbolize troubles we face in our lives. Living beings brace against the cold. People have to deal with potential problems caused by snowy roads and walkways. The freezing temperatures and winter snow are like the sufferings in our lives. There is a tendency to want to avoid these, hunkered down, hidden away, hoping for the passing of the chill.
The Buddhist teaching, ‘winter always turns to spring,’ came to mind. It’s true in nature that seasons change from one to another. But to create a springtime in the heart, we must use our difficulties as fuel for our inner light. The energy of our heart’s burning light is born of our ability to use the fire of challenges to ignite our full potential.
Viewing challenges, like this amazing winter scene, with the heart of a poet, changes my entire perspective. What if, like the beauty of this lovely winter snapshot, we could see every difficulty as an opportunity to inspire appreciation and creativity?
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Photo Essay Series
By Jenny Leigh Hodgins
This is the second of my photo essay series featuring images from my newly designed 2020 nature photo calendars. The calendars include monthly self-care themes highlighting strategies for nurturing your creativity and inspiration.
These lily pads on a quiet lake provided the backdrop for personal reflection as I took this photo while at an arts-related conference. Being at the spiritual retreat geared toward empowering artists to fulfill our potential was itself an explosion of encouragement. Taking a moment of solitude to think about the impact of artistry on humanity and vice versa, filled my heart with gratitude and the determination to do my best as an artist for peace.
The quiet scene reminded me of the calmness and beauty of the Water Lily oil painting series by the French impressionist artist, Claude Monet. I’ve always been drawn to the water. Monet’s art in particular, evokes for me, the therapeutic comfort of the water’s ebb and flow.
The rich, deep hue of Toda Lake, with puffy white clouds in a pale blue sky reflected in the pond’s gentle movement, and the brightness of shiny green, floating leaves seemed to burst forth with joyful appreciation. Yet, the serene view was relaxing. It expressed a light cheeriness, and life’s depth and complexity all at once.
From my viewpoint, I saw multiple layers of texture; the sparkling lily pads in the forefront, expanding into the lake’s deep blue, mild ripples, and the lush greenery of the Florida Everglades in the distance. This layered vantage point reminded me how our lives are an intricate, overlapping, dramatic and poetic mesh of stories. The paths we take, how they intertwine with the paths of others, how sometimes our road leads back home, while other routes take us to foreign places; All these interconnect to build our community and link our lives.
This photo captures a moment of time for reflection, to appreciate the drama of each chapter of life. It speaks to me of how we must each pause to take care of our inner life, with silence, absorbing nature’s beauty that’s always surrounding us.
When I look at this photo, I let my mind empty. I let my imagination take me to the quietness of this peaceful place. I inhale its joy, with magnificent color and light, allowing the sensation to fill my heart in spiritual therapy. I envision the emotion from this gorgeous, soft moment nurturing my soul. I let my thoughts float away, and allow the profound beauty of this setting to open my life. Then, I exhale, with gratitude, that at any moment of the day, I have the capacity to experience this.
It’s about taking any small window of the day or night, to look for and discover something worthy of attention. Finding that sliver of time, or tiny space within the heart, to celebrate something seemingly ordinary. Yet, within the everyday, there is something exquisite, something that can surprise and inspire with its authentic beauty. Let’s keep looking for moments like these.
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In my CREATIVITY blogs, you’ll find tips for exploring creative flow, and inspiring content related to the inherent challenges and tremendous joy within the creative process.