Sitting on the shore, the river rushes by my feet. The ancient rock where I am perched, once carved and tumbled by these waters, gives me a point of view and a place to wonder. I feel safe and happy here, yet yearning to move and go with the flow of the water cascading over the rocky river bed. The rushing currents create sculptural swirls and contours that catch the brightest light and the darkest depths of the little river on its way to the big ocean. My artist’s eye and instinct are transfixed.
Water is often a metaphor for expression, the intuitive and intelligent imagination flowing and finding its way to the river of creativity. The substance of water can have therapeutic effect whether we are in it, around it, or imagining it. The average human body is about 60% water and the total percentage of water on the planet’s surface is about 70%. We are like water. Expressed by philosopher, painter, poet, or musician, the moving flow of water is a universal theme that draws the connection between consciousness and unconsciousness, and the deep, pure source from which creativity emerges. Water is a symbolic metaphor for FLOW and the movement of creativity.
From the shore, I feel the water flowing with all my senses. The meditative sounds and fresh fragrance, the colors and contrasting shapes. I lean into the scene and touch the cool water. It satisfies a thirst and desire. My pencil swims across a journal page and the moment is remembered with an animated sketch. Drawing or painting water is humbling for a Maine artist. My mind moves with the rhythms of the Earth and I know why I came seeking this sacred spot. Nature is the model for life and art. The river tells me to swim to the fertile creative middle, don’t hold onto the shore. It beckons me to take a risk and move to create something new with fluidity and confidence. If I resist and hold onto the old ways of thinking, doing and being, I will miss the growth and enrichment that comes with change. I thank the river for the wellness moment. Refreshed and liberated, I welcome the changes that will come with moving forward.
Art in nature heals the mind-body-spirit. It is a way to reflect on our connectedness to Earth and everything. Being in nature opens our sensory awareness to new forms of personal expression and to the things we need to make us well. The last days of spring are fresh with new energy from the rainy thunderstorms that make the rivers rush and the flowers grow. It is a time to fill the well in wellness. We all need retreat time in the natural places that make us whole, happy, and hopeful. Find and follow the river of creativity flowing in, around, and through you.