Natural Inspiration


Earth’s cycles and changes are epic. Whether thunder or whisper, her ever-present voice is an unlimited supply for ideas and inspiration. 

The south end of Whidbey Island was recently visited by Winter with a thick shroud of hoar frost. I had double bundled myself for the brisk walk from my house to the mill as I started running through my lists for the day. I noticed a trickle of water making its way through a frozen ditch at the side of the road. Vibrant green hid behind the white of winter all around. It was beautiful. Then a single leaf stopped me dead in my tracks. 

Leaf frozen in frost

I reminded me of Wooly Lamb’s Ear, but in a Cubism sort of way.  Just the thought of those lamby leaves transported me to the warm buzz of July. For a brief, chilly moment I was sixteen again, and selling endless flats of flower and vegetable starts, including Wooly Lamb's Ear, at Shady Brook Farm. It was my first real job, and I absolutely loved it. To this day, I cannot eat a fresh ear of corn without thinking about Shady Brook Farm. And, as one thought leads to another, I was reminded about the wool. They used to have a petting zoo with two sheep (among other animals including a donkey named Dolly). Every year the shearer would come, and the wool would be bagged and tossed in the trash. Something in my blood told me this was a crime, and even though I knew nothing about fiber or my future interest in it, I managed to convince one of the owners that it was worth something and they should look into selling it. For at least three years straight the bags of wool collected in a corner of a barn that no one used. I thought about them every time I walked by that barn, and I'm fairly certain I'm the only one who did. Those bags of wool are my unsettled score with fiber. I will forever be looking for ways to make use of them, and I see every bag of wool I encounter as my opportunity.  Shady Brook Farm has come a long way since then. I'm not sure the petting zoo is there anymore, but the great memories and people that made it such a special place to me certainly are. 

Rhododendron leaf frozen in frost

What will I do with this moment of inspiration? I don’t know yet, but I have captured it, and it’s mine. Moments like this are all around us every day in abundance. Let’s tune in to collecting them like acorns, filling our cache of ideas for the next time we are bursting to make something, say something, or do something beautiful. 

Fern Leaf Frozen in Frost


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