Friday, January 8, 2016

Finding Inspiration in Nature – Greenway Photos

One of our favorite activities to do on the weekends together, my wife and I as a couple, is to go to brunch. We both love breakfast food, sleeping in, and not always cooking. I think for us, brunch is the ideal meal to share. This last weekend we enjoyed our usual brunch at our usual place, and decided to talk a walk afterwards. We discovered a new greenway in the city to walk along right near our favorite brunching location. In case you do not know, a greenway is a dedicated trail that cuts through the city, with the surrounding land left undeveloped and in its natural “green” state. This particular trail was about 2.5 miles round trip, affording us some exercise and a chance to talk while we walked.

For those of you regularly follow my blog, you will know that my current series of abstract paintings are inspired by reflections, particularly those on a body of water. We were pleasantly surprised to round the bend of the path, and find ourselves walking along a beautiful pond, smooth a glass, reflecting the stormy, overcast sky above. It was chilly that morning, the beginning of steep drop in temperature that has occurred this past week–finally feels like winter here in North Carolina. Trees lined the water on all sides, casting clear, beautiful, and dark reflections onto the still water. The path went along the perimeter of the little pond, allowing me to take photos from various vantage points. I have included the best of these here for you viewing enjoyment. I hope that you find them to be as inspiring as I do.  



Complete View of the Pond. Photo by Charles Wolf. Charles Wolf Studio © 2016. 

As an artist, there is nothing quite like the inspiration I draw from being in nature, enjoying it’s beauty. A find that for me, it reminds me of what is important in life and what is superficial. It is so easy, particularly with all the entertainment when can get though technology, to stay in own little bubbles, inward and self-focused; as a millennial, I love technology and would not want to live at any other point in history. In fact, you would not be reading this right now with out technology—but my point is: when I am outside and in nature, I reminded that I am part of a larger world. I also reminded how insignificant I am in the grandest scheme of things… and this is ok! Life is short, and taking time to appreciate your environment, enjoying each moment can greatly improve your own satisfaction with your life.  



Pond Bank and Reflections. Photo by Charles Wolf. Charles Wolf Studio © 2016. 

When I walk among the pines, I am encouraged to share my joy with others, to stop focusing on my own problems, myself, but to put other first. In the end, making a difference in someone’s life is more important than being successful, kindness is more important over gaining popularity, and when I think about other people over myself, I am happier for it. When I can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of artworks, blog articles, YouTube videos, photos etc. then I know that I have meaning and a purpose in life. Because I am just a passing speck, a blade grass bending in the wind, what greater joy can I find then have a positive impact on those around me?


Reflections with Overhanging Branch. Photo by Charles Wolf. Charles Wolf Studio © 2016.  

Let me summarize it like this: nature allows me to savor the moment, take time to appreciate the wonder of creation, to get out of my daydreams, plans and ambitions, and to think about other people. Who’s life can you improve today? What can you do think about someone else before yourself? The funny thing is, if you do this, you will find that you are all the happier for it, because, “it is better to give than to receive.”[1]



Reflections. Photo by Charles Wolf. Charles Wolf Studio © 2016.   

I hope you have a fantastic weekend! I am looking forward to another brunch and walk this weekend with my wife, getting out of my home, being reminded once again of place in the universe and getting inspired by nature.  



Grassy Bank and Reflections. Photo by Charles Wolf. Charles Wolf Studio © 2016.

—Charles 

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[1] Paraphrase of Acts 20:35.
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