Today the phrase "take time to stop and smell the flowers" popped into my head as I drove to the grocery story. Mother Nature is more than generous to us here in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. One scene that always takes my breath away is the white, billowy thunderheads that look like puffs of cotton. On a certain stretch of highway, framed by tall pine trees, you can see the clouds waiting for you at the end of the road. Of course you never reach them, but it's fun to imagine grasping a bit of fluff and taking it home to dream on. I grabbed my camera and went back to capture the picture to share with you. The huge thunderheads were gone, but you can catch a glimpse of what we get to see every now and then when we're lucky and Mother Nature is in a creative mood.
My mother, an award winning oil painter, gave me the love of finding beauty around me. I didn't realize it at the time of my youth, but when my daughters spent time with her and came home talking about their time with their grandmother, I started to see her skills as an artist. Their favorite experience was when she would have them lie on the ground and watch the clouds. "If you concentrate very hard," she would tell them, "you can move the clouds around with your mind." Then they would have fun looking for different pictures in the clouds. Even now I take the time to see what I can discover.
Do you know clouds aren't really white? I learned this watching the movie "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" where Dutch oil painter Johannes Vermeer asks his housemaid-turned-assistant what color she saw when looking at the clouds. At first she said white, then no – yellow, blue, grey are the colors. When I went looking with my camera, I did happen to notice the multitude of colors in the clouds. Amazing how a compilation of colors can appear white.
This got me to thinking about our writing and how we each have our own individual voice. How does this happen? Can it be a compilation of our life's colors and those who've influenced our lives? Maybe who we are is determined by how we absorbed those experiences and share them with others. Is there one event in your life that might have had a great impact on how you write or approach your writing or job?