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Inspired by Nature

We bought our property as a place to retreat - for ourselves and for others. In the past seven years, it’s been just that. We’ve been able to relax and refresh while hanging out with family and friends. And others have come and done the same. 

But there’s a particular group of people we specifically had in mind when we began our small business. We wanted to provide a place for artists to be inspired and to create. Why artists? Houston and I believe that “creatives” are a population that is often underpaid, undervalued and underserved. We’ve developed something we call our Artist Work Exchange program. 

Writers, visual artists, photographers, songwriters and other creatives stay free of charge in a glamping tent in exchange for three hours of work per day. It’s not intended as a vacation, but rather as a time for them to get away - out of their normal routine - to be inspired, and maybe get direction on their next project. 

One friend, Aaron Garcia, a graphic designer, ( said, “I was able to get back in touch with my traditional side of drawing and ink, but more importantly, I was able to spend time with my own thoughts and intentions. I was also able to make space and time for reflection, reading and writing.”

He adds, “One particular aspect of the work-exchange that I enjoyed was breaking up my day with some manual labor. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but getting my body moving and accomplishing physical tasks helped my mind relax and engage with nature. Two moments stood out to me during my stay. One was chopping firewood for about two hours. Something about the repetition and physical exertion was really enjoyable. The other was sitting in the middle of the field, in front of a fire, staring up at the canopy of various space-ink blacks and bright sparkles from the stars.” 

I agree with Aaron. As a writer, I’ve also been inspired while working outside at the farm. Doing projects and chores - even cleaning up animal droppings - are jobs that can be quite meditative. As someone who is more accustomed to being indoors when I’m in the middle of a writing project, I’ve found there are outdoor tasks that don’t require a great deal of attention, allowing my thoughts to wander a bit. It’s often during these moments that I find inspiration for a new writing project or dream about future writing goals.  

How about you? If you consider yourself a creative type, have you ever been inspired by spending time out in nature? If so, I’d love to hear your story.

This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the May 11, 2024 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.

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