Sometimes, all it takes is a walk through leaves.
We've been here a year already. Just a hair over it, actually. And for one reason or another, I haven't ever really made time to explore it on foot. Not my neighborhood, at least. The mountains, yes. The coast, yes. The forestybits, yes.
My immediate surroundings, no.
I blamed that on lots of things. Getting settled in. The record-breaking heat wave last summer (which was, to be honest, pretty impressive). Rain, as if we all don't have gills up here.
|Pretty sure a troll lives in there. Or maybe a gnome. One of the two.|
With this new sense of exploration, though, I've been walking the dogs.
Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch From L.A. inspired me. (We've got similar philosophies on general sketchbook-keeping, so I trust her opinions on everything else. That's how it works, y'know. Also, if she runs her Sketchbookery class again, you all should take it. All of you.) She's been doing photowalks on a regular basis, and the things she finds to draw are beyond awesome. And since I have dogs that need walking, I figured I'd start killing two birds with one stone and start walking them and get a good explore in.
There's magic out there if you look for it.
Fairy caves and hidey holes. Gnarled roots, reaching into the earth, and spindly weeds, reaching for the sky. Birds and furry things and probably bears. (I have not, yet to date, seen a bear. I'm hoping that's a trend that continues for a very long time.) Water and tree-climbing moss and lots of strange looking nuts and seed pods and sticks and rocks.
I even found a path that cuts walking time into civilization by, like, 3/4 of the distance. (The one above, actually.) Instead of walking nearly a mile around the creek, there's a footpath over a bypass...right by my house almost. I'm excited to use it one of these longer days.
Look where you don't normally look. Look down, really down, almost like you're looking for something in the grass. Look up into the canopy of trees. Look nearby for things you don't notice in a car. Look at the distance and how that puts you in relation to the sky.