Coming up with the name for my blog was the easy part; Paisley Rain Boots was memorable and embodied my wandering, discovery seeking spirit. About a month after I started the blog I took an on-line course on blogging. In this course I learned, besides having an appealing name, I also had to have a tag line, a mission statement of sorts on what my blog was going to be about. I remember many morning walks spent pondering what my mission statement would/should be. Over the four years that I have written this blog, the tag line has changed many times. This was a natural progression as I discovered who I was as an artist. A little over a year ago I finally stumbled on the one that stuck - Striving to find balance between intention and discovery.
For the last couple of months I have been doing near weekly discovery adventures. Adventures that were greatly needed to get the creative inspiration flowing again. But as my tag line says, I needed to balance that discovery with some good old intention. I needed to replace a week of wandering and big discoveries with a week of an intentional destination and consistent small discoveries. So last Tuesday I made an intentional trip to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.
Every year I have the intention of visiting these meticulously maintained gardens once each season. Sadly when I looked back at my photo archives, the last time I visited the gardens was February of 2013. Seriously! They were working on building the Japanese Garden on my last visit and that opened in June 2015. I have already missed spring for 2016, but that doesn't mean I can't do summer, fall, and winter of 2016 and spring of 2017.
The Japanese Garden was my main reason to visit. I had been intending to go since it opened, finally that intention became reality.
I arrived at precisely nine o'clock, right when the doors opened. I wanted to get as many wide landscape shots as I could without people in them. Somebody's bright orange shirt in the midst of a tranquil field of green always disappoints me.
"Based on a centuries-old gardening style, the Japanese Garden emphasizes reverence for nature and contemplative experience."
The many well placed benches did give me pause to stop and sit a while. Knowing I didn't have to rush on to my next destination helped to facilitate the ability to slow down, something that I am terrible at doing.
Once satisfied with my exploration of the Japanese Garden, I moved on to my favorite garden - The Farm Garden.
Growing up in the country I identify with the farm way of life. I wish I had grown up in a house like this with a wide wrap-around porch.
The entire homestead site has bronze statues like this one scattered about.
"The farmhouse, barn, gardens and animal pens are reminders of a bygone era when the land supplied the family with groceries and income, a time when every family member helped with chores."
For whatever reason, the sight of this simple knot on the clothesline begged to be photographed and gave my heart that fluttery feeling.
The day was so calm that I was able to get this fun metal sculpture reflection in the rain water collection barrel.
It was a great day to take life a little slower, wander with my dSLR, something I don't do near enough of, and to find the many surprise discoveries in a visit of intention.