When most people think of west Texas, the word "beautiful" probably doesn't come to mind. I have to agree that the landscape is harsh and, if you don't know how or where to look, it can be rather uninspiring. Three years ago, my home town opened the beautiful Jenna Welch I-2o Wildlife Preserve. Just outside the fences, lies the interstate, man camps, and miles of industrial parks and billboards. But, inside that fence line is indeed a treasure. The preserve includes miles of trails, playa lakes, beautiful architectural observation blinds, a butterfly garden, and loads of wildlife.
I was able to escape the usual grind last Saturday and spend a couple of hours in nature, just looking for inspiration. I wanted to be intentional with how I looked. I didn't want to observe the landscape as a whole, but to see the minutia, the overlooked. I wanted a new perspective. I collected samples of dead plants and noticed the most beautiful textures and colors: burnt umber and shimmery silvers. They seemed to get lost among all the new spring life. They shrunk into the shadows of the vibrant yellows and pinks. I suppose they resonated with me. I'm an introvert, and I tend to shrink back so as to remain unnoticed. This. This is what I needed. Not to just see the things around me, but to relate to them.
This is a happy place for me and my kids. I could have spent all day out there listening to the ducks and and breeze through the trees, but life calls.
Find some fresh inspiration this weekend. Get outside and search for the overlooked beauty and create something inspired.