Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Grounding of a Dream

Warmth and sunshine blessed these past days, drying leaves and plants and finally the mold and mildew of the watery August. All of a sudden it seems, leaves are turning 
and cool autumn nights whisper of the frozen days to come. Just at the moment of balanced light, I step onto the path that will lead to the grounding of my dream 
and the manifestation of a vision long held. First, before I tell you of this, there are 
gifts from the land to share, small jewels of shape and color and pattern.  

The teasel has grown two exquisite meandering spirals, 
she must have heard how much I love spirals - and teasel - 
her form alone is enough to captivate me for hours. 


At the edge of the road is a maple tree well-loved by red squirrels,
their small entrance hole is beautifully ringed in 
rusty hues.   

Turning around, I see another entrance on a tree that 
looks as though she might someday get up and walk away. 

The beautiful windflowers offered up their petals in pink piles 
on the ground revealing their radial, reaching form. 

Late color in the garden is so utterly surprising,
I sat with this coltsfoot for a long time learning 
about purples and greens and the river-like 
meanderings of bugs. 

Afternoon light in a canopy of autumn trees is spectacular. 

One small glowing oak leaf, low to the ground, 
rivals cathedral windows, I muse. I walk from one glittering 
light show to another, all only a foot or so from the ground, 
each worthy of a small gasp. 

A few late bloomers add a touch of magenta. 

Northern sea oats dance green-gold and salmon in the 
slanting afternoon rays. 

I wander to the newly cleared bit of forest, 
full of gratitude and a bit of disbelief that 
my dream for this place will soon be manifest. 

 So long have I waited to bring my work fully home: 
to earth and ground, to teasel spirals and raven calls, 
to owl feathers and the embrace of mosses and 
hemlocks and towering oaks. 

Two years of grant writing and paperwork, 
business plans and meetings, hirings and firings of contractors, 
phone calls and deadlines, holding tight to 
strong vision and deep dreaming -

RavenWood Forest
Studio of Mythic & Environmental Arts

Where I will teach many things, 
where dreams will be nurtured, 
and nature will inspire, 
seasonal turnings will be celebrated, 
and mostly, 
the question will not be how can we save the Earth, 

how can the Earth save us? 

 There is a blue sky behind the gray mists, 
and some nights I'm so excited I don't sleep, 
for soon, my dreaming will find roots in the Earth, 
and a small, beautifully built cottage will tuck into a clearing
 in the forest. 

Profound gratitude is a foundation like no other.  

"Blue Sky Behind Gray Mists", watercolor, 2011


Velma said...

WOO HOO!!!!!
i know i should be subtle and reserved, but, well, i can't WHOOPIE!

jodi said...

Oh!!! Congratulations!!!!! That is amazing news, you must be thrilled all over.

Also, these were such gorgeous photos... crazy there can be so much good in one post!

Karen said...

Ooh how wonderful Valerianna! Fantastic news. So pleased for you!x
Delicate, precious, magical photo's thanks for sharing. Oh and the teasel... the spiral is beautiful. I picked a bunch of teasels to bring inside the other day. They are in a tall pot by my fireplace, a little piece of Autumn brought indoors. :)

steven said...

wow! wow valerianna! that's so awesome and lovely! the colours in the woods right now catch me with every detail and i cannot get enough and then i see more and i am overwhelmed. steven

Nancy said...

Congratulations-so wonderful for you!!!

woodland wanderer said...

how very wonderful. a new cottage in your beautiful woodlands. i do love teasels also, there is many seeds sleeping under the blanket of soil, waiting for the next spring.

ArtPropelled said...

Now I have butterflies thinking of your dream studio. The name itself makes me yearn.....Ravenwood Forest Studio .... where nature will inspire. Beautiful photographs to feed my soul!

susan christensen said...

That is a beautiful thought with which i can agree with my whole heart - profound gratitude is indeed a powerful foundation! This is a beautiful series, V. happy autumn, sus

Rowan said...

How wonderful to have your dreams becoming reality - such an inspiring place for your students to work. Your photos of the teasel are beautiful, they are among my favourite wild plants.

Cottage Garden said...

How exciting! I am so pleased for you Valeriana. Look forward to seeing how it all progresses.

Lovely autumnal photos of the forest. The teasel is wonderful.


Ms. ∆×∆p×≥h/4π said...

"Where thou art, that is home."
Emily Dickinson

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh I am so happy for you.. such anticipation you must have... doesn't it feel so exciting.. I wish you the best experiences ever with your project during the building and afterward with your creating and teaching inside.. Take Care!!

Lynn said...

This is such wonderful news, Valerianna!
I am thrilled for you and for everyone who is and will be fortunate enough to participate in your dream.
What a truly beautiful thing!

Swan Artworks said...

Firstly, what stunning photographs, especially the teasel spirals and those extraordinary and wonderful bug meanderings on the coltsfoot leaves - I really love those...

And great news on the plans! With your special surroundings and the root deep connection you have with the natural world, I think it will be a wonderful studio to come and work and breathe and learn in. Wish I could hop over the Big Wet and spend a few weeks in it myself!
Can't wait to see how the build goes!
Carrie... :)

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Its going to be an inspired place to learn. Your photos, the colors and textures are glorious!

A mermaid in the attic said...

Wonderful, wonderful and wonderful! You are following, and realising a dream. It will be a wonderful, and inspirational place to be and to create, and best of all, to pass on the joy of being and creating to others!

Virginia said...

Congratulations, beautiful heart.

Valerianna said...

Velma- I don't have ANY shoulds about you being subtle and reserved, heck, I"M sure not right now!

jodi- thanks... I loved taking these photos, maybe they convey the joy I had in finally getting to be outside NOT in the rain and enjoying the shifting garden again.

Karen - Yes, teasel is just so wonderful, though QUITE something to pick with all those intense thorns.

Steven - I'll say!

Nancy - thank you, yes, I'm a bit thrilled, for sure!

woodland wanderer - oh to think of the seed-jewells yet to be born!

ArtPropelled - thanks... I get butterflies, too! Its been YEARS, not just the two working on the specific grant, but YEARS of dreaming and clarifying the dream, oh my, really... it is something to watch the building take shape and the dreaming move to the actualization.

Susan - thanks... yes, feeling overwhelmed with gratitude - and a bit of straight overwhelm with all that needs doing, but mostly overwhelming thanks.

Rowan - thank you... and those teasels are wonderful in all seasons, aren't they?

Cottage Garden - thanks! I wonder how this new garden will grow, I will surely keep you all informed.

Ms. - oh, yes, I know that, thanks.

Gwen - thanks so much, I've enjoyed watching your studio take shape all the while knowing that mine was around the corner. I only wish I had such a talented mate to add all those amazing details!

Lynn - thank you so much, next is getting the word out... always something NEXT on the list. After the building is built, then the shout out to COME!

Swan Artworks - thank you! Who knows, maybe when all your little ones are grown, and I'm old and teetering, maybe you'll find yourself in the forest here, hunting dragons!

Julie - thank you... I can;t WAIT!

Mermaid - thanks! And I have my eye on one of your talismans to hang in the studio for inspiration... when I'm NOT shelling out so much for light fixtures and wood stoves and OH MY!

Virginia - thank you so much...

Trish said...

Oh yes, wonderful lady I feel so excited for you, for all those lucky people that will be taught by you in such beautiful surroundings.
Stunning photographs. I am also a teasel lover. Oh, the greens and purples on those leaves!And the trees!
And yes I love what you said about the earth saving us. I think she will.
Much love

ramona said...

Dreams coming true! This will be a wonderful place.
I followed you on your walk with your camera and loved everything you saw. I found wild oats in my yard this week that I never saw before, Thank you for sending them this way.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you! Congratulations!!!
~ Zuzu

Umā said...

Yay! Can't wait to see how this unfolds! Congratulations!

gz said...

A beautiful place to be, when the seasons say stop, look, be aware.

Thankyou for visiting my blogspace.
Blessings Be

Anonymous said...

Wow what good news and love the Teasel, have never seen this plant before!

rivergardenstudio said...

Dear Valerianna,
This is such a beautiful post, your photographs, the way the coloring of the leaves look like landscapes, and your words of your journey through your forest and the light...And then reading of your dream as it surfaces and comes to be. Maybe I can come and take a class from you one day. And finally your painting, the misty feeling of the future that is about to be.
have a lovely weekend,

La Dolce Vita said...

I am enchanted with not only your post and beautiful photos, but your joyful news... congratulations, what great news, you must be absolutely thrilled... xx

Tammie Lee said...

how lovely that your dream and vision will manifest! wishing you endless joy, health and wealth.

your artful photos are a joy to see.

Valerianna said...

Trish - thanks! and aren't those colors amazing. I keep oo-ing and ahhhing when I pass them.. they will fade fast once the cold really takes hold.

ramona - your welcome, beautiful plant, wild oats.

Zuzu - thank you!!

Uma - thanks... and being so close your really WILL see how it unfolds, more than most commenting here.

gz- thanks for coming over here... and, yes, the season is definitely demanding attention.

Mo Crow - thanks and welcome to the wonderful world of teasels, seeing it in bloom is also quite a spectacle.

rivergardenstudio - that would be wonderful, to have you here, wandering in these woods and bringing your wonderful color sense to the studio.

La Dolce Vita - yes, good word for it, THRILLED! And somewhat impatient, I want to be in there painting the walls, setting up shop and dreaming on how to enchant the place with magic.

Tammie - thanks! And I'm particularly fond of this series of photos... I think nature and autumn inspired a richness in the images.

Stille Linde said...

I'm very happy for you and for every person who will learn about living in the roots.

Nikiah Seeds said...

All of your photos are gasp worthy--and makes me long for the forest--thank you!
May all you dream of come true!

layers said...

So many beautiful images of autumn nature here.. and best wishes on your good news.

Valerianna said...

Stille Linde - thanks - definitely will be teaching some root-work!

Nikiah - thank you and I hope you get to satisfy the desire for the forest, so amazing in this transition time of year.

layers - thank you. Grabbing photo time when I can, autumn seems to be flying by!

Sandie said...

I am amazed by the teasel photos because at first I thought that it was a wrought iron crook. Congratulations on your news, I'm sure your studio will be a very inspiring place indeed!

acornmoon said...

That is such encouraging news Valerianna, you have held fast to your dream and all your hard work is about to pay off.

Heavens2Betsy said...

I came here by chance and lingered awhile. It is a most beautiful place to visit. penny

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

left a message.
not here?
will wait till morning
then try again

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

what i had most wanted to say that
got lost
i think the key is in this:
"the question will not be
how we can save the Earth,
how can the Earth save us?"

manifesting...an over used term,
but here, i see the depth of
the Energy.
this is something that gives us
all hope. you do it for your forest and you do it for all of Us.
MUCH love to you,

Medieval Muse said...

Very exciting news indeed!! It is as if the landscape is applauding you.

In that tree, I see a woman with her skirts hitched up - perhaps dancing in celebration?

Thanks so much for inviting us along on your woodland observations.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by my little cottage today - "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten" is a favorite. :)

yvette said...


i red your words about knotweed and lyme desease
can you tell me more?

here in the netherlands also lot of ticks

Alexi said...

Beautiful photos! I'm really glad your dream has been manifested :)How wonderful to have a Mythic and Environmental art studio! I look forward to hearing more about it.

Manya Maratou said...

wow fantastic. !!!! I;m glad and happy..for you and for all..thanks!!!

Donna Iona Drozda said...


how the Earth can heal us.