to blossom, to bloom, to reflect, retreat and create.
Unlike literary granny Virginia Woolf who said, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write," I have never in my adulthood had a room of my own. I don’t have a space dedicated to myself or my endeavors. I share space with my family members, my animals and all my creative projects.
There is no “getting away from it” unless I opt to take myself out of my house for a thirty minute or one hour extra mini-retreat to restore my spirits.
Sunday morning I got the itch to go so I grabbed my sketch pad, my notebook and a blanket and decided to head out to the blossoming almond orchards not far from my home. A week ago I had visited and found myself completely enamored with the sensual banquet amidst what looks, for much of the year, an ordinary grove of trees in an agricultural area filled with groves of similar trees.
For a few weeks in February and March, local Bakersfield almond orchards become a slice of heaven on earth.
In those times they also become the perfect retreat space for creative people like us. In seeking spots like this, I have to believe there are tucked away gems in every area if we keep our eyes and hearts open to the possibilities. There might have been a time when I thought it completely audacious to sit against an almond tree in some anonymous farmer’s orchard.
Now I not only sit against a variety of almond trees, I have been known to lie down next to them, to soak up their scents - to listen to their murmurings.
Yesterday I noticed nuances about the blossoms that fell like a gentle snow as my pencil moved across my page. A bouquet started to form on my sketch book and I noticed some of the petals had darker pink seams on them and some had no seams at all.
This detail fascinated me and prompted me to roll onto my belly, running my hands through the petals on the ground to determine how common the seams might be.
I took my shoes off and enjoyed feeling the moist soil under my feet through the petal-snow. When I sat back down on the blanket to write and sketch, I was enamored with the colors on the soles of my feet.
I went from feeling overwhelmed yet flat and numb to feeling alive and refreshed and new.
Through sketching and taking photos and writing, through smelling and touching and listening I returned to myself, gently.
I was ready to go back to face the routine of my day and get the tasks done ahead of me with a clear mind and an open heart.
I might not have a room of my own, but I do have a will of my own to make the most of what I do have even if that includes falling in love with an agricultural area and taking a 45 minute retreat rather than a weekend at the beach. I would love the latter, but the former soothes my soul, too.
My friend Jennifer Louden says, “Carve out the time….Time wants you to realize that she is the most precious and irreducible fact in your live. Make her into what you will” Yesterday I carved out time and I carved out space and I opened my heart to create in that time and space.
I once again understood time as holiness and the space around me as precious.
As I write this, I feel the same spaciousness I felt sitting under the almond tree. Delighted expansiveness all around me and within me.
Julie Jordan Scott is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in Spring, 2015 and beyond.
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