Recently I was at a Fabuous Women’s Retreat at Camp du Nord, near Ely, MN. There were many highlights during the four day retreat. One of the most vivid was an Artist Date where I walked in the woods alone. The term Artist Date comes from Julia Cameron’s best selling book, The Artist’s Way. An Artist Date is a weekly excursion or play date with yourself. It’s an hour or longer block of time, by yourself, and for yourself. It’s a way to fill your creative well, to reconnect to your soul.
I made an intention to spend some quality time alone at the retreat and my walk in the woods was exactly that. It was a perfect, Fall day in Minnesota. the sun was shining, the leaves were peaking in color, and the air was fresh and crisp. When I’m on an Artist Date, I try to engage as many of my senses as possible. I saw a ruffed grouse early into my walk and stopped to observe it for a few minutes. They’re kind of a curious looking creature. This one had it’s tail fluffed out like a fan and around it’s neck a ring of feathers that stood up like a ruff. What a lovely surprise! I meandered down the trail listening to the various bird songs, the trickle of a creek I crossed and inhaled the fresh Fall air. The scent of pine was strong as I passed white and red pine trees. The colors were vibrant, magenta, scarlet, gold, orange and yellow green. It reminded me of an artist’s palette. The walk from Pine Point to Camp du Nord took about 20-25 minutes, one way. On my return trip, I reflected upon how abundant the woods are, filled with gifts from nature.
My walk in the woods filled me with JOY, reconnected me to my love of the great outdoors, and reminded me to go slowly, appreciating all the gifts of the natural world. What about you? What makes your heart sing? What brings you Joy? How can you carve out some time this week to get out into nature?