Friday, April 26, 2013

Musings on time and nature

When being in a landscape, when you are outside, do you really see, smell and hear what surrounds you? Do you become aware of the chatter of the birds, the clicking of insects, the whispers of the wind through the branches of the trees?

Yesterday I was walking on a sidewalk in the city and I saw the sparkles of pieces of broken glass on the paving, with sunlight catching on the edges of the shards in the same way it touches the waterdrops on the lake and backlights the seed pods on reeds rocking in the wind. Yesterday I walked through Cape Town's Company Gardens, and I listened to the sound of the pigeons and other birds. I watched as two squirrels chased each other over the lawn - playful, quick and carefree... Completely caught up and present in the moment.

I spoke to someone yesterday who mentioned that the older he gets, the quicker time seems to go. I replied saying that it might be that we try and put too many things into the spaces of  time available to us. What if we take a bit of time each day to do nothing - to just absorb, smell, feel, touch, think about, see, taste, hear, and appreciate what we have around us at the present moment? This is essentially what Land Art is to me - an expression of being, reflecting and expanding one moment. One extraordinary moment in the landscape, and making it timeless. Connecting myself to the earth through digging into the sand with my hands, caressing the rough bark of a tree or a soft velvety leaf, or holding smooth pebbles tightly in my hands before arranging them into a circle that could symbolize infinity and wholeness.

What if we are actually infinite beings, caught in a moment, in a place, in a body. What if the touch of my bare feet on the pine needles at the feet of Deer Park's trees is a moment of connection with the ancient spirit of earth that will last my lifetime? What if we could all experience timeless moments and an infinite profound appreciation for everything around us? What if we were all more aware and in rhythm with the cycles and time of the earth? Would we still chase our goals, societal status and monetary wealth in a race against time? Or would we be content within our sacred space of time, our special and connected moment, right here, right now.

Written by Janet Botes


On another note, hop over to read the article "Land Art: Ephemeral Beauty, Eternal Bliss" - land art as a creative activity for kids here, which I accidentally came across while researching land art. And if you're on Pinterest, follow Vered Bar's very inspiring board Horticulture, Land/Earth Art.

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