Nature inspires me, grounds me, keeps me sane, alive with wonder. Now that restful winter is turning to lively spring, I feel myself coming to life in a newly bloomed, juicy, creative and fertile way.
As I write about life in the wine country, nature is my greatest source for inspiration. I find this is true not only in my work, but by writers and artists that I admire, Willa Cather, Georgia O’Keeffe, Antonio Machado, Vincent van Gogh.
Just this week, I was riveted by Van Gogh Up Close, an art exhibit taking place at the Philadelphia museum. I read about it and saw stunning photos of the exhibit on-line by the New York times. There, his works come to life, through 45 small, looked over, paintings which examines the artist’s relationship to nature at its most intimate. As I went through each slide, I was drawn by the fire yellow in his shrinking ‘Sunflowers’, the blue and white liquid brilliance in ‘Almond Blossom,’ the shaded green in ‘Rain.’
In this painting, van Gogh paints workers in the vineyards, with his yellow sky, burnt orange vines, and blue trees; It takes my breath away. Nature inspired him to paint in colorful, vivid detail.
When I admire his works, up close, I am reminded how much nature inspires me when I’m taking walks in the valley of the moon, pruning vines in our vineyard, planting onion bulbs and garlic in our garden, taking a picture of a white snowy egrit, or simply gathering wood. I am inspired by nature and because of her I come to life, over and over again.
When I look around at the cherry blossoms, the deep blue ocean, the red rosebud, the yellow finch, the orange maple trees, the silvery drops of dew on a spider web, the stoic green mountains, I understand my rightful place in this world. When I am one with nature and fully in it, I know my true purpose on this planet, to live the day, drink in the wisdom that comes from the well of silence, to be fully aware, taking it all in and looking at life in vivid detail like van Gogh did with his nature landscapes, his golden sunflowers, his purple irises, his starry, starry nights.