Ever since I was a child I was fascinated with nature. I looked to it as an escape. Every little patch of wild that was still left between the developments in the suburbs, were my imaginary worlds- the places that called to me. In between school stress and bullies, I knew I would be safe as soon as I could get to my wild hideaways. And I always felt such a connection to the energy of the earth- I believed in it’s secret magic.
Garden of Eden
Those were the days of endless cornfields and running barefoot in the grass. I would bring my band of neighborhood friends to the edge of our development where the farmlands began, and we would blaze a trail through the tall, tall corn, creating a maze so we knew where we were going, but our predators wouldn’t. We were in control, the rulers of our wild little world.
Before I was a teen, we moved to a different state where in stead of farmland, it was trees. Lots and lots of trees. I wasn’t used to the closed in feeling of the woods, but I liked it. Hidden, shady, and mystic. I used to see energy in the tree trunks, some sort of life that was silent and reassuring. Like no matter what went on around it, no matter what chaos and pain humanity felt, that tree was steadfast and simply grew with its gnarled rough bark to protect it.
I would walk to the edge of our neighborhood where there was a secret hole in the chainlink fence, and I could escape to the new secret wild place- a place with giant rocks jutting out from the earth, covered in carpets of furry green moss. Trees sheltered me from the world, and I would slip down the steep hills, from tree trunk to tree trunk, to explore the ravines of the woods. I would discover new hidden places that most people probably didn’t even know about, places I wouldn’t run into anyone. I would bring my friends there later, showing them the dried up river bed with soft white sand at the bottom of the ravine, and taking courage in the number of our group to explore even further.
Out west and now an adult, I sometimes forget the magic I used to find in the hidden places of nature. But I still look to nature, noticing each plant I’ve never seen before. Sucking the sweet smell of wildflowers into my lungs and taking note of the fragrant scent. On long drives I look into the distance, to the trees, the canyons, the riverbeds, and fields. I never forget the wild places, my sort of Garden of Eden- a perfect place safe from the world, safe from people who can cause pain.
This place here in these photos is one of those places I drove past for years, every day on our way to and from home. This spring in California gave us a superbloom like no other. As one patch of wildflowers comes and goes, and new one springs up in another place. All around me is color and life. This little corner where the tree bends low, and the sun paints it amber in a streak of luck, because most everything else is shaded by then from the tall canyon walls… I finally ventured out to this tree to shoot and attempt to capture the essence of the magic I found there.
I hadn’t stood in this spot yet, and seen it from this vantage point. Only ever from the road. And how I forget that everything from the car looks smaller and goes rushing by, like it’s unimportant. Just a glimpse, a blink. But when I stop my forward motion, and change my perspective… wow, a whole world opens up that I only ever saw the surface of. You see, it’s all about changing your perspective. Sometimes not just by changing where you stand, but by how deep in you go. And how you must stop, to truly see what’s around you.
I don’t know how often people get to do this nowadays with the constant rush of life and the pull society has on us. We are pulled away from the natural beauty and source of pure energy that rests in the wild places, in the soil and the fragrant air. We forget that out, away from the city and the suburb, the air is purer, healthier, rejuvenating. That little bit of wild magic- that escape…most the time it’s just what we need.
Dresses: V Chapman Studio | Gold Heels: RAYE via Revolve | First Jewelry Look: Nashelle Jewelry
Second Jewelry Look: Bijou Limon
Photos edited with Sarah Loven Presets