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What are you noticing?


As I stay closer to home, I am noticing more about the natural world right around me: the plants in my yard and my neighbors' yards, the folliage coming out on trees and the lengthening days as we move into spring. 


I've been reading Drawn to Nature by Clare Walker Leslie and in the final chapter this week, she writes about a practice of finding "daily exceptional images." She developed this practice in a time when her mother was ill and dying and she wanted moments of wonder to hold onto each day, something she could also share with her mother.   

This idea resonates for me in this time too as I am limited in my face to face connections with others and yet grateful to share art I create and nature I observe through on-line communities.  

A delight for me in the last week has been having my Instagram friends help with identifying and naming plants I observe in my yard and in the woods behind our house. Thanks to several friends, I now know how to identify a mayapple and that I can look forward to blooms under its leaves. 

Early this morning, I noticed small white flowers on my neighbor's holly bush. I have had holly bushes in my yard since I was a young child and am familiar with the red berries of fall and winter but had never noticed small white flowers in spring before. I wondered if her bush was exceptional but returned home to our much smaller bush to discover it too had the same small white flowers. Something I had just not noticed before.

The paper cut above is one I have shared before. The quote comes from a book called The Fifth Book of Peace by Maxine Hong Kingston. My son saw it the other day and noticed the turtle, a good symbol for the slowing down that we are invited to in this season of staying close to home. 
We often think of art materials as passive, waiting for the creator to use them to share a message.

In fact, materials have a role in the conversation, they speak to us through what we notice, what draws us.

I invite you to take a walk with a camera and notice what images draw your attention. Or gather some materials around the house - what do you notice about the items you choose?
Jenna has been sharing images on instagram at the hashtag #onelittleidea - can you identify these dried plants? See more @jenna4nel and tag your own images #onelittleidea
Here are some blooming bushes from my morning walk, see more observations and reflections on nature close to home on my instagram @kathrynconeway

Thank you for reading and sharing

I notice I am most drawn to nurturing things that help me feel connected.

I am grateful for the images you share and the many notes about what you are making as well as to requests to share these prompts with your friends and communities on-line. I created an archive of newsletters at the link below in case you would like to share it with others. 
I'm interested in sharing some of the images you send me through an on-line gallery to be viewed by this community.  When you send me your creations, please let me know if it's okay for me to share them more broadly.
Thank you.
Newsletter Archive Link

Podcast on Practicing Delight

When I am creating, I often listen to podcasts; my favorites are those that involve a conversation. It gives the feel of having people gathered around me sharing as I work. A favorite lately has been a conversation between Ross Gay and Krista Tippet on the podcast, On Being.
The episode is called Tending Joy and Practicing Delight.
 
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