It’s been a long, dry summer (and fall) until recently in Southern California. The muted golds and browns of the dead, dry weeds are now beginning to show hints of fresh green sprouts.
Although the wet weather and change in color is a welcome sight, I know from my many years here in Fallbrook that those tiny green sprouts will soon devour the worn paths if I leave them to grow.
As I was out walking this morning (after an unusually rainy Thanksgiving), I took a moment to focus on the tiny green shoots coming up along the path I had taken. It’s tempting to leave the green alone, or even walk through the wet weeds and explore now that they are bent with the weight of the water. I remembered that I need to keep the paths well-trodden, so I can discourage the weeds from taking them over and making the walkways disappear.
This isn’t to say that I won’t make new paths– now is the best time to do so, since it’s easier to step on the dry, wet weeds and there’s a somewhat smaller chance of stepping on the dreaded rattlesnakes (as opposed to spring! Yes, I know they don’t hibernate here in our area.)
The thought of the weeds taking back over the paths we’ve worn so well this dry season reminded me of all the creative work I want to finish and need to reconnect with– paintings, writings, art lessons, even sewing– I never seem to find enough time to focus on getting things finished. The art lessons come first, since they have deadlines. I was lucky enough to get some commission work last month, which I enjoyed completing (see “Band-Tailed,” at the top of the page). The walk this morning reminded me that I need to keep in touch with my creative projects on a daily basis, lest those creative “paths” get overgrown. It’s so much easier to follow the path when you make time to tread on it daily!
Keeping those creative paths well-walked also gives me the courage to try new paths! They might be short at first, veering slightly off the main walkway. Eventually those new paths become well-worn too, providing new experiences even as they lead back to the original, long-cleared trails.
If you have creative outlets, keep in touch with them. Walk those paths as regularly as possible– even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. Remember that letting them go untrod will lead to the inevitable takeover of weeds– obstacles that will get bigger, the longer you let them grow unchallenged.
How to you keep your creative pathways open?
If you’re local and would like to attend a free art class for adults, I’ll be teaching at Fallbrook Library in December!
If you enjoy lots of greenery in artwork, stop by my Gardens and Fields gallery!