When I went outside this morning it was surprisingly cool for Iowa on August 1st. We had a bit of rain last night, gilding all the leaves with silver drops. I shuffled around out there for a while, barefoot, and reflected upon how, as long as I didn’t look at the horizon, I felt like I was still in South Dakota. The air I breathed felt like it, anyway.
The first full day there, Mike spent his time getting an appointment made with a local mechanic to replace the radiator on our van. I was keyed up. The beginning of our vacation had been rough. 5 kids, 90 plus degree weather, the last 100 miles took 5 HOURS to travel. The night before, sleep had come hard and swift, and left me the same way at dawn. I got up to have a cup of tea and look around, simply because there was nothing else to do, and got my camera and lenses out. Coping skills. Perhaps that’s what art is for me, ultimately. The entire process is a coping skill.
The first thing I noticed was that mowing was optional, and perhaps unnecessary up on the mountain. What a novel thing! Don’t mow, and instead, wildflowers and ferns will spring up everywhere. NICE. Little things, little details.
Lots of trees, too. Birches and pines, not as if they were planted, but rather they just put down roots wherever and reached up to the sun. Pine cones and needles blanketed the ground underfoot.
I shot pictures of all the little things. I began to relax.
Sailor got up. She remembered that LAST year, when we had gone to Estes Park, we had taken many Senior Portraits for Sloane. This year, she wanted some portraits made of her. So we did. Another little thing, MY little thing–my youngest girl, with her perfect sprinkling of freckles, her long hair she loves desperately, and her sturdy-still-a-little-girl body picking her way through the daisies.
A bug on the step.
The uncurling birth of a fern.
The trees overhead.
Big things are the background, the big things put us in our place, knowing we could be bashed to bits upon them and the world would keep on rolling without a care. The little things allow us to use the better parts of ourselves–love, compassion, kindness, peacefulness. When I walked through the flowers, I watched my step so I wouldn’t crush any. They were little and fragile and beautiful. Like all of us.
Tracy Lovett is an artist, author, illustrator, photographer, wife, mom, and all around creative gal trying to spread the message that creativity is one of our most important qualities. She uses her books, photographs, and writings to encourage others to just take the chance and be creative. This BLOG is about her creative journey into all her creative endeavors, including writing for children and adults, art and illustration, photography and photo-illustration, and book-building from beginning to end. There may be other “sidetrips” that can’t be predicted–so hop in and enjoy the ride! You may learn more about Tracy here. You may follow her on Facebook here. You may learn more about her books at www.inclementiowa.com !