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the healing power of the natural world

October 22, 2013

i’ve spent quite a lot of time indoors over the past few months

out of sheer necessity.

the walls have, at times.

closed in on me.

saturday was such a time,

so i grabbed a camera and a macro filter

and walked around the house

looking at natural objects with new eyes.

i surround myself with collections of all kinds,

and they were a form of therapy

not only to study, but to

remember their stories.


it would have started with the horses,

but i’m not allowed to bring them inside, so…

it started with things from the sea:


a glass canning jar of seashells


an abalone shell used for smudging,

but that now holds strands of rose’s mane and tail that i collected.



barnacled mussel shells and empty crab shells

picked up on a walk along monterey beach by fisherman’s wharf


and even a branch holding a piece of tumbled sea glass picked up

while walking the beach at port townsend when sara and i went to artfest.

i have many rocks, but this one reminds me of the sea crashing to shore

and sending its foam rolling onto the sand.


then i looked at things i picked up while hiking in del monte forest last summer:


a pine cone dressed in coastal regalia


a small piece of a branch


mosses and lichen hardy enough to propagate freely under the right conditions


but so delicate now that they are dry.


all of this was making me very focused and energized,

but with the gentle encouragement of others

i left the house and took the longest walk

i’ve taken in months.


the minute i got outside the sun worked its magic

and lit the world in a glorious bath of color!

it began on the front porch


where the cornstalks stand sentry for a brief time to welcome the fall season


and the pumpkin was a glowing orb with a decidedly hallowe’en-looking stem.

as we walked west along the drive everything in my path seemed miraculous

and got me down on my knees to capture that magic.


the grasses were waving to and fro in the breeze

daring me to try and hold them still.


even the dandelions struck me as magical


which they must be to have survived frosts, snow, and wind and still look like this.


some people call them weeds,

but i prefer to think of them as wish makers.

i did have to remove the macro filter a couple of times to take in the grandeur of a perfect fall evening

at the golden hour.


one of the reason i took the camera along was in hopes of finding some remaining milkweed pods,

and i was not disappointed!

we didn’t have any on our property,

so we had to cross the ditch and keep going west.

they looked like flags of cotton calling to me.


oh, the magic of a milkweed pod


as it bursts open and spills its contents into the breeze.


our timing could not have been better.


yes, there are a lot of similar photos here, but it felt like a time lapse series

as these gentle beauties hung suspended for so brief a time.


when the breeze picked up it rustled the filaments just enough

to create a veil of rainbows.


the sun was beginning its descent behind the rockies

and we could feel the air grow cooler,

so we headed back to the house.

just before we crossed back over the ditch i saw this in the grass:


it might be a lone weed seed,

but it reminded me of this old saying:

a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

it made me realize that my healing journey is well under way.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Harte permalink
    October 22, 2013 12:01 pm

    Beautiful Jan!

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      October 23, 2013 3:23 am

      thanks, mary!
      how goes the settling in??
      thinking of you!!

  2. oksana permalink
    October 22, 2013 7:36 pm

    exquisite – truly healing – thank you

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      October 23, 2013 3:25 am

      thank you so much!
      it’s nice to see you here!

  3. October 22, 2013 10:55 pm

    ….and i was thinking you are blessed by the tree of souls, like in *avatar*….

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      October 23, 2013 3:31 am

      oh, gosh– i had to look that one up!
      however, we were just sitting here watching Out of Africa (sigh) while i was….KNITTING!! yes, finally did it, and i have some gorgeous chunky pure merino wool that is becoming a scarf!! now i may start watching more movies!

  4. October 23, 2013 10:30 pm

    There is nothing, NOTHING so revitalizing as a long walk in a wild world. And the tiny wild things you photographed indoors are precious too. But I live for the wind and sun and my feet moving along an untraveled path. Thanks for sharing; I’m glad I found your blog.

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      October 24, 2013 3:38 am

      yes, the outdoors is entirely therapeutic. it lifts my spirits always, even if the path i am on is one i’ve traveled many times before. i always find something that stops me in my tracks with a sense of wonder and awe.
      thanks for being here! you are always welcome!

  5. October 25, 2013 4:27 am

    Beautiful beautiful things. So lovely to have stumbled upon you.

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      October 25, 2013 4:06 pm

      thank you, Ashley! isn’t our world filled with the most glorious things?!

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