Forests are my destination of choice, one of the places where cerebral hemispheres can feel whole again; allowed to act as one, to observe, sense, marvel, wonder, imagine and create. Away from the incessant chatter and noise of humanity, the urban grey of cities of concrete, there is an immediate sense of calm and welcome noise.
I can hear my footsteps, crunching on leaves and twigs. I can hear the sudden silence as I pass by flocks of birds chatting in their natural skyscrapers. I pause. After a while, they resume their conversations. A rush of excited calm as I watch nature's builders using natural materials to build their homes. Amused, I wonder about their decision making process. What are birds thinking when they build and weave their nests? This twig goes here. Or is it trial and error? Does this twig go here? I see nests woven into branches, precariously close to the very tip to avoid even the most agile predators. How do they remain there? How is that special branch picked? Do they assess sway and give? Yearly construction of the impossible, without tools. Birds, one of nature's evolutionary architects and engineers.
I settle on a spot, arrange my supplies; paints, brushes, pens and pencils. A warm up with quick sketches and studies. Time and memory are no longer perceived. My lungs are learning to breathe deeply again, while my mind is focused on color, shape and perspective. The weight of thoughts is quickly discarded.
I will return, but nothing rivals that first renewal of the year.