"You're safe," a security guard assured me as I was walking alone through the large Redtail forest preserve at the reservoir. "Not many people come here. Enjoy."
That gave me cause to think why I wanted to drive to a place that was hard for me to find, just to look at nature. I had my easel with me and I wanted to paint. It was isolating but not really because all of nature was singing. I saw bugs and birds that I had not noticed for a long time. It was 8:00 in the evening, so I stayed at the entrance and saw the friendly security guard once again before I left. Later a friend came by unexpectedly and we walked through the dense areas to the pond and saw the sun finally set.
The forest preserve made me think of what the Garden of Eden might have been like. I was wondering where the first human beings bedded down, ate, and took their baths. I was imagining what it would be like to live in pure undisturbed nature for a long time. It would be a deep experience in understanding the Creator. When I pray, I don't say a lot of words, at least lately. I don't have alot of words. My prayer is just walking reverently through a place like Redtail.
I have the pleasure of experiencing dozens of woods and properties that are preserved and open for me to walk through. Plein air painting is a good way for me to really experience nature and look at colors. The smells, the touch of the breeze, the sounds of birds and insects, add to the entire experience and makes my paintings richer. Nature becomes a part of me.
Painting and poetry are my ways of responding to nature. Other ways are joy and thanksgiving, being grateful, appreciating every breath of fresh air, marvelling and birds and bugs and bees, and squealing with delight at the millions of colors and shapes all around.
FYI. Just go Burlington to 650 S. You will see the sign with the Redtail Hawk.