I took this picture yesterday in New York City. It’s amazing to see the tulip gardens. There’s pavement, metal fences, traffic, rushing people … and tulips growing everywhere. (Not to mention the flowering trees.) The gardens and splashes of color are surprising reminders of beauty amidst the buildings and automobiles.
I know that gardening metaphors are overused when it comes to creativity. But I think it’s because they are true. Tulips don’t just appear. The bulbs are planted in the Fall (or years beforehand) and made ready over the Winter. It’s a process that must be trusted. The tulips don’t appear exactly on our, but they do grow and flower — if we create conditions in which they can grow.
I’m sometimes amazed when I feel most creative. I was coming home from my quilt meeting yesterday. The Long Island Railroad was crowded. The guy sitting next to me was snoring. There was a baby on the train who was screaming and I was starving. And I had a fabulously wonderful idea. Why? Because I’d been at a great meeting, with a fabulous speaker! The creative soil — so to speak — had been fertilized.
I think that’s how we produce our own “Creative Spring” all of the time. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way series of books, talks about “refilling the well.” And it’s true. We need to take actions that fill our artistic soul. I’m doing this again this morning — and passing it along to the next generation in the process. I’m taking my daughter and her girlfriend out for a morning photography session around Long Island. We’ve got some great places scoped out. They’re far better photographers than I am … but the morning stillness and Spring beauty will fill me with ideas.