Growing up in a family of carpenters and craftspeople, I was always encouraged to build and to create, create, create. If I had the materials and the inspiration, I felt I could make anything. Materials were always plentiful; interestingly bent nails and scraps of wood from construction sites were just as fabulous as many markers and glitters I’d acquired over birthdays and Christmases.
In addition to supporting my creativity, my family fueled a deep love for nature. We were always camping, hiking, fishing, or just sitting around a fire in the front yard. While out exploring, my parents had the incredible patience to wait for me to thoroughly examine each fungus pushing through the duff and every footprint pushed into the mud (even if mosquitoes swarmed us all miserably). Hiking with me is still intolerable; now my partner has the pleasure of waiting as I stop every few steps to examine a plant or dig out a bone.
Being outdoors centers me in a way I never really appreciated until I moved into a city. Now I seek out quiet spaces to meditate and gain inspiration when the loudness of city life clouds my brain. In summer, I disc golf in the Baraboo Hills and swim naked in the Wisconsin River. The sand and sun feel wonderful. In winter, I sled because it’s easier than skiing and I usually spend most of my time lounging in snow drifts anyhow. In spring and fall, my throat catches at all the beautiful changes happening so fast.
Regardless the season, I find laughter and comfort at home with my partner and three cats. We bike the city for Bloody Mary’s and yet another trip to the grocery store (the cats don’t care much for drinking or groceries, so they stay home.) We watch scary movies while I papier-mâché and paint and other messy things. On adventurous nights, we dress up and dance. On quiet nights, we giggle in bed.
It’s all terribly romantic. And romance is a fabulous source of inspiration.