My father taught me --and I've always believed--that nature has ways of 'speaking' to us. In the past, when we lived lives that were closer to and more in tune with the Earth we could 'hear' Nature's voice so much easier. My father was a tremendous history buff and storyteller who extensively researched and studied the lore of the Native peoples. He loved Nature and animals; had spent part of his boyhood on an uncles farm and once dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Life had other plans and instead of becoming a vet; he found an expression for his love of animals and nature through his art.
He believed in totem animals; as known by the Native Americans and also by his and my own Celtic ancestors. And he believed in 'animal wisdom'. That if an animal keeps appearing to you it has a wisdom to share with you; a message for you; something that will guide or help you in your life.
For me---right now---it is birds. Robins,turkeys,my neighbors...the crows... and just today a happy bluebird and his mate, cavorting and flirting with each other despite a chilly,gusty wind and rolling overcast sky.
I have several books that will tell me their individual wisdoms: robin wisdom,turkey wisdom, etc. But for me...right now, in this moment in my life and art...I think it is the wisom of flying. Of leaving the safe nest and spreading wings and seeing where that gusty wind takes you. I think the birds are telling me not to be afraid... and I am listening with all my heart and soul.
I can also feel them speaking to my sketchbook and canvases.... I can see them. I need to draw and paint and do whatever I can to let them speak. I've been seeing nests made with string and sticks and paper and bits and eggs with speckled skins and these bird-girls and they are little and strong and delicate and they seem hopeful.
So I will be too. I'm going to go, right now, and make a cup of tea and sit down with my favourite graphite pencils and my journal and get these little girls onto paper.
I'm going to remember what my father taught me about 'truly seeing the beauty around you' and I'm going to listen to Nature's winged voice as she teaches me to fly all over again.