Recently, I traveled to the Midwest where I grew up. This revisit caused me to realize that my own present surroundings had become familiar and tiresome. The beautiful wide world was spinning somewhere out there without me.
Each morning I walked through a marvelous forest preserve called Rollins Savanna. Wonderful, isn’t it, that the county sets apart large areas of land in an effort to preserve the life and the eco-community of forests?
This particular location is described as a 5.5-mile gravel trail with bridges and boardwalks winding through wetlands, oak groves, and open prairies teeming with wildflowers, native grasses, birds, and other wildlife. Every one of my senses rose up. Emotions and sensations almost forgotten from childhood were kindled. Lost memories resurfaced.
I journaled in my “Wonderful Words Notebook” everyday so as not to allow a single thing to slip away.
My eyes were soothed at the sight of delicate Queen Anne’s Lace, wild buttercups, and broad -leafed cattails donning fluffy popped seed heads.
Aromas of fresh prairie grass, damp earth, and autumn blossoms wafted on cool breezes.
Fallen acorn caps and spent summer pods crunched underfoot.
Morning mist lingered on thick humid air and against my lips. (It revealed the natural curls in my hair.)
Bird songs, chittering crickets, and wisping butterflies…
What will I do with these awakened inspirations? How will they meld together as a foundation for my next picture book?
Something rustles in the woods. Is that a glistening dewdrop, or an eye peering from behind the oak?
A chipmunk skitters.
Perhaps a fox family lives beneath the bridge.
…or a gnome.