Thursday, May 2, 2013
Thursday's Children - Inspired by Nature
I thought I'd focus this week on a positive source of inspiration: Nature. At least I find it so, because there are many majestic and breath-taking spots on this planet of ours. The photo above is Profile Lake in Franconia Notch, NH. Franconia Notch is right up there on my list with Acadia National Park and the white beaches and palms of the Gulf Coast.
I've been an avid nature fan all my life, ever since my mother kicked us outside to roam the woods and fields of rural Maine. We took occasional trips to the Maine coast and mountains, too. My artist's eye and poet's heart finds peace, joy, and nurture in the sights, scents, and sounds of the outdoors.
When I discovered that during the 1800s, traveling artists visited our nation's (and Europe's) famous beauty spots to work, I was inspired to write my Canvas & Corset series. In the White Mountains of NH, for example, we had many "grand" hotels that housed visitors seeking the peace and inspiration of nature and God--while providing three sumptuous meals per day, social events, and sporting excursions. Sigh. They knew how to take vacations during those days--all summer!
Several of these hotels remain. Here are two in the Whites: Mountainview Grand and Mount Washington Hotel
I love the contrast of a luxurious resort set down in wilderness. I also appreciate the philosophy of the late Victorian period that recognized the power of our great landscapes to inspire. This era gave birth to many conservation movements. The Sierra Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Acadia National Park, Yellowstone--all these were started by wealthy and/or cultured nature-lovers who recognized something worth preserving for future generations.
In my books, I hope to convey the beauty and power of these landscapes, providing the reader with a mini-vacation of their own. That's my particular challenge.
How about you? Are you inspired by nature?