An artist date in the woods near me

If you go down in the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise
If you go down in the woods today
You’d better go in disguise!

Hmmm, I rather like going as me, thank you.
On my own, with my camera.
Although it sometimes feels uncomfortable as it did last week. I felt conspicuous. There were loads of families and groups of walkers.
I was alone on an Artist Date with my Inner Child, Little Deb.
However, my son re-framed my discomfort for me: he pointed out that maybe some of those people were looking at me and thinking “I wish I could walk on my own…”

Regardless of how I was perceived, I relaxed into the day. The sunshine was glorious. the sky was blue with fluffy white clouds and the woods were cool, fresh and clean . They welcomed me. I’d left listless and flat all week and the woods were a soothing balm. My energies soon lifted as I strolled through the cool green pathways. The bright sun created distinctive shadows that were like small flitting movies on the woodland floor and tree trunks.

Distinctive shadows

The wood is edged on one side by Wellingtonia Avenue along which a line of over 100 giant sequoia trees stand.

Wellingtonia Avenue

The trees were planted in the early 1860s as a memorial to the Duke of Wellington, who had lived in the nearby Stratfield Saye estate. The two rows of trees forming the avenue are spaced 23 metres apart. The total length of the avenue is approximately 1.1 kilometres  [Source: Wikipedia].

At over 23 meters high, I was dwarfed by the trees. But at the same time, I felt deeply connected to the earth and its abiding ability to survive so much. The trees are over a 150 years old and a living testament to that.

An Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you. The Artist Date need not be overtly “artistic”– think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play… they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration. [Source: Julia Cameron’s blog].

The purpose of my walk in the woods was an artist date. It certainly replenished my well but also soothed my soul. And although my Inner Child wasn’t skipping around the woods singing at the top of her voice, she was happy enough to be out in the fresh air and sunshine, paying attention to the shadows, trees and leaves.

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