My mother in law is an artist. Not the dabbling kind that uses art as a stress relief or a hobby, it’s her living. And in the years I’ve known her and by looking at her catalog of work, her choice of medium has changed, shifted, grown, moved. I’m in no way creative but I am an appreciator of things of beauty. I think the same eye that allows me to enjoy her work, good museums, architecture, or even a simple weave of fabric is what invigorates me when I’m in the outdoors. The colors, the smells, all the sensory overload that comes with being outside. I sometimes smell food cooking in a campground or that funky scent of warm stagnant water. I love the smell of fresh pine and the sound of leaves crunching under my feet. When I first started jogging years ago, it was on the road. And then I met my husband who would rather be in the woods than anywhere else. Before long I was backpacking, mountain biking and trail running. I appreciate the outdoor space and what it gives back to me when I take my body out there and ask my heart and legs to pump extra hard and my home area gives me no shortage of media to work in.
Today my mixed media experiment took me on nine miles of pavement, gravel road, muddy single track over rocks and roots, up hills and down again. The only thing missing was a boulder scramble. In return for pounding my feet upon the trail I was treated to being chased by an angry growling beaver, the sight of a herd of white tail deer prancing in the forest and a decorated Christmas tree in the middle of the trail.