This good thing: I have cracked out this year's botanical sketchbook. I have had my first tentative scribbles, more of them later I hope to keep a fairly full jounal of finds and sketches through the year.
I walked today stopping here and there taking photos and picking little botanical fragments (yes, all responsibly!). Even in the bitter cold of a grey January day, there was still so much beauty. All a bit wabi sabi, all in various stages of decay and fairly monotone but still having its own fragile loveliness.
It is amazing how many of these fragments of natural material and the photos and sketches of them inspire my designs but also my thoughts about a whole range of things. Nature gently re-organises my thinking and feelings somehow, jostles them about a bit, into new paths and connections. Like so many people, I find nature both inspires and comforts. It is my wild church, and I find God here as much, often more, than in any building. But whether you are of any faith, or none, there is such freedom in walking, riding or running outside - the brain does not remain unaffected, the act of getting into wild spaces is, somehow, a healer. A counter-balance to the pace and noise of modern life. In a way, my sketchbooks are a sort of celebration of this.