Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where?

For many days as I walked in the woods I asked the question, "Where?" As in, where is the location of the work that will fulfill my soul's purpose?

I wrote the question and placed it in the crevice between the split trunks of my favorite tree.


I wrote the question and sent it sailing over the waterfall I like to visit.


For many nights I wrote the question, prior to sleep, and asked my dreams to provide an answer.


I dreamt of kitchens, garages, art, coffee shops, green fields and travel. But I wasn't quite sure where my where was located.

I listened to Deepak Chopra who said we should let go of expectations around outcomes and simply hold onto what it will feel like when we are in the place we are looking for. I let go of  where, sending it over the waterfall again.

Many days and weeks, and even months, have passed since I asked the question, "Where is my work located?"


Recently I made a heart from items I found in nature: ferns, berries, pine cones, trametes--the little mushrooms that grow from trees. Along with the heart I placed a quote, "My profession is to always find God in nature." The quote is from Henry David Thoreau whose works, when I read them in college, resonated instantly with me. I was particularly smitten with Walden. I fell deeply in love with the idea of giving up material possessions to reside in the woods, alone, to observe nature and write. (I have since heard that on occassion Thoreau would go into town and his sisters would do his laundry. I don't know if this is true, but nevertheless he spent a great deal of time in nature and documented some of the most evocative and thoughtful reflections on what he saw and felt, that continue to speak to us today.)

While walking today I had the sudden realization (a feeling really) that I have known my where all along. I am blessed to have found nature and to get to document my journeys in photographs, writing, and visual art. On my walks I am being transformed back to the simpler times, almost lost to us now in the fast-paced days of instant gratification we are so used to. We move around without much awareness sometimes, as we sit in our cars and enter building after building, taking in just a few gulps of nature as we do. We have forgotten nature is here.

I hadn't realized just how deeply Thoreau's work had spoken to my heart--or that what he did was work at all! But now, over two decades since reading his books, I am walking my profession just as he did. Perhaps by documenting it I am preserving something that will somehow be significant for posterity to come.

I think I have found my where. Now to allow it to evolve into my profession.