Friday, July 8, 2016


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. 

"Various vegetable gardens and flower beds are dedicated to heirloom varieties."

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.


  1. WI so admire that you intentionally go on photo shoots. My favorites are the water lily and the clothesline knot. You have a great eye.

  2. This is on my list of "to do's" this summer as well. I'll have to remember to get that right at opening to beat the crowds as well.
    Wonderful shots dear friend!

  3. Totally zen...thank you for sharing! A lovely distraction from the workload! Aloha!

  4. Balance between intention and discovery... to me, that sounds like how we start out with a plan but then discover random wonderfulness along the way, which we never could have planned for.
    That Japanese garden is beautiful! Your photos could be in their brochure. Seriously.

  5. Wonderful, so nice to see you out on an adventure and a garden also... you know how much I love gardens!

  6. A nice adventure! The gardens are breathtaking. I must admit that when I saw the knot on the line, I gave a pleasurable moan. Love it!!

  7. Everything about this post is just perfect. Love that you took the day to make art with your photos.

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  9. As always, I'm inspired not only by your setting of intentions, but by the way you carry them out, something I'm not terribly good at. I've never even thought of having a tagline for my blog and have no idea what it would be..."Aimless Meanderings" would probably fit! I love these photos - they make me want to drive up to our state botanical garden for a photo day.

  10. So many great photos - I love the knot and the focus is perfect!

  11. You and I have had similar experiences with gardens of late. Mine was from the Huntington Library...So in love with everything about this place. You'd love it. I adore wandering around new places alone - just me,my camera and my thoughts. Gorgeous photos and story Sarah.

  12. . . . balance between intention and discovery . . . for sure . . .
    loved the clothesline . . . loved all . . .

  13. A beautiful day, the location reminds me of a Japanese House and Gardens in Philadelphia. The photos are stunning as always.

  14. What a beautiful place this is! I especially love the farmhouse; as a horse-crazy girl, it's the kind of place I dreamed of growing up in. The stone bench, the reflections, the knotted rope... all so wonderful. Going out with the single goal of photographing a special place; that's something I need to do more of.


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)