Genevra Siciliano

Writer in Adelaide, Australia.

When Nature Supports Your Creative Journey

Transitioning Leaves. Photo by Genevra Siciliano.

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” -John Muir

If you have ever felt lost and unsure of the next step in your creative journey, have you considered that clarity awaits in the great outdoors?

I’m not a hiker or a camper. I don’t have dreams of being a deep-sea diver, or willing to throw myself into some other crazy-adventurous activity so I can flood your Instagram feed with pictures of me trying to prove a point. But simple walks in my neighbourhood? Yes, please.

I always underestimate the power of a simple walk. It never fails to be the right course of action for me when I need to clear my head, get some inner quietness, seek inspiration, or (as was the case this morning) get the restless toddler out of the house. Within minutes of my kid sitting in his stroller, and me placing a leaf in his hand, he was calm. A different child.

We walked on, and I found more leaves with striking colours that began to speak to me. As I was showing them to my boy, I began to analyse what I liked about them. The gradience in the greens, browns, yellows. The way the colours ran into each other, but each patch doing its own thing — all having a different part to play in the overall physical form of the leaves.

These leaves were moving on, too. Transitioning. And therein lay my a-ha! moment.

I am transitioning creatively.

“This is what you need to take your writing to the next level,” the leaves seemingly represented.

The attached photograph that I took of the leaves mirrors the colours of my transition. It were as though I had subconsciously asked nature to show me where I am in my creative journey. After that walk, I felt a block lift within. It’s not uncommon for us to have blocks that we need to lift. If we don’t, we remain stuck. We don’t grow — as creatives and as people. There’s nothing inspiring about stagnation.

If you want to spend more time outdoors, it doesn’t have to be strenuous, challenging or costly. Consider a trip to the beach, a couple hours of fruit-picking, Tai Chi in the park, camping in your backyard, whatever, but I’ll stick to neighbourhood walks for now.

Whatever you choose, you may be surprised at the sort of answers or thought-seeds that nature can plant in your mind. It seems far-fetched that nature can offer a helping hand when it comes to our creative thoughts, or that it can whisper affirmatives into our ears when we have questions about our next creative step.

I continue to be surprised by it.

Sometimes, you can’t explain how nature plays a part, especially after witnessing it. An unusually beautiful butterfly flutters across your path, or sunbeams pierce a cloudscape right when you are feeling down —- suddenly, you get a knowing feeling that what you are doing is the right thing. Your intuition kicked in. If you then try to explain to someone that the butterfly or the sunbeams support your choice, they’re probably not going to go for it. That’s okay, because the only person you need to worry about when going for something to hit that next creative goal is YOU.

Can you remember a time when you felt you were transitioning creatively? Or, has nature ever bailed you out of a creative rut?


10 Comments

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About Genevra Siciliano

I am a writer and photographer based in South Australia, and the self-published author of a photography book called 'Picture In A Frame’. It was funded by Kickstarter. These days, I am working on my second novel and have been pushing forward with my goal to become traditionally published. I am documenting my writer journey over at Patreon where I hope you’ll follow my updates and consider supporting me. Thank you!

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10 Replies

  1. Oh, yes! One winter, snowy afternoon was my inspiration for a short story that led me to my husband!

    1. Hi Mariella. I would say that it is a very productive walk — a written piece AND a husband! Double jackpot! Haha.

  2. Getting outside into nature is a great way to boost creativity. When I’m stuck on a project I try to squeeze in a run or walk to flush it out. Some of my best ideas have come while on a run.

    1. Hi quilty, thanks for visiting. Actually, running is something that I’d like to take up this year. I haven’t run (more than 100 metres) since… high school. I know that to start running there is nothing to it, but it’s been so long and I am so unfit that I always feel like I am late for a pretend bus. Ha.

      1. Love this blog! I find some great story ideas when I go for a walk along the docks. Being by the water really inspires me!

        1. Hi Rachael, definitely – you’re really lucky if you’re close by a water scene on a regular basis.

  3. What a great read i love nature and the oitdoors

    1. Hi Noumey, thanks for stopping by.

  4. You’re right about nature inspiring creativity.
    I love to go for walks to clear my thoughts, gain new ideas and just take in the beauty of my environment.

    1. Hi 13weeks, glad you agree. And I don’t think I’m the only one that believes how beneficial it is right now during social distancing / isolation.

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