Francine Davies Artist | Nature- The Playful Joker
Nature, Environment, Art, Welsh Art, Artist, Wellbeing, anxiety, Dealing with anxiety, Waves, Sea paintings, Sea painter, Marine Artist, Coastal living, Visit Wales, Visiot
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Nature- The Playful Joker

Nature- The Playful Joker

😂👀Nature- The Playful Joker👀😂

Sometimes when I wake up I can hear the roar of the sea. It’s exciting to hear and immediately makes me wonder what is going on outside. On these occasions I always get up really quickly, imagining that it must be wild, windy and rough outside and I am expecting to see big, enormous waves. These are the best starts to a day!

However, this sound is both seductive and misleading. I usually race to get changed, take the dog and flee to the sea only to discover a calm quiet, gentle swell rattling the pebbles with a gentle breeze. The noise I was hearing from the house was just pebble chatter! It always surprises me how much noise the pebbles make when they chatter and how deceptive the sound is. This happened only the other day and despite having been fooled before I had looked out the windows to see if the sea looked choppy. I could see a strong wind blowing the plants outside so I thought this time I would see big waves crashing. BUT NO! I had been duped yet again.

It made me think how clever nature can be at misleading us. With so much scientific enquiry over the centuries we tend to think we know everything there is to know and we can predict everything. This has made us almost complacent and impervious to the possibility that we are not “calling all of the shots” in our natural world. Personally, I love this feeling that I am being toyed with and my mind is being tricked.

I’m always trying to read the signs of nature. I’m convinced nature has a vocabulary that is rich with symbols that if studied can be translated into language we can easily understand and add to. I’m not talking about scientific language but an experiential language: old wives tales; superstition and those traditional early methods that read and work in tune with nature’s rhythms and behaviour through trial and error. I have increasingly, witnessed my children begin to read nature in this way as well. Whether it’s the cows laying down in the field confusing us about the weather to come(i.e. are they lying down because rain is coming or is it because they are tired and hot), waving to the magpies in ones, twos or even fives, or the misleading noisy sounds of the pebbles chattering, we are all simply connecting with our beautiful, stimulating environment.

I like the idea that nature has a playful sense of humour. It could be the wind direction taunting me in the mornings or the birds throwing their voices from the various shrubbery on my walks, or the cows messing with my head by some standing some sitting, I just love being communicated to in this way. I also like it when I am reminded that things are not always what they first appear to be. I soon realise I may have to try a bit harder to interpret the sounds I hear, look for more evidence and consider other factors. That’s got to be good for the creative process, surely!

However, I don’t want to make everything too formulaic I would be bored! I love the internal commentary that begins when I awake to the sound of what I first believe are the waves crashing in. This is just the start of my imaginative journey. As I walk off in search of the excitement of that “belief” it makes me alert to everything around me. It’s only when I get to Hardee’s Bay that I see I have been duped and feel a new sense of wonder take over and then I start to appreciate the importance of this process.

We always need to believe the best scenarios are out there. We need to approach life thinking that the best can happen. It doesn’t actually matter if things don’t turn out exactly as expected because we have approached it from such an incredibly energised starting point that any outcome will be positively influenced by our attitude. Being full of hope and energy is a fantastic way forward! The stories we tell ourselves are very powerful. They can liberate us or they can disable us in a flash.

I have witnessed this quite recently from a child psychologist helping children to overcome anxiety. If we can acknowledge that the words that fuel anxiety can be changed by us then the fear that they evoke in us can be diluted and eventually managed out of us. This can help us feel very liberated and we regain some agency in our lives. Writing our own story endings to frightening, disturbing scenarios that have created anxiety in us can have a profound impact on how we approach situations. Accessing positive solutions to an anxiety can make us feel less daunted and as we get better and more familiar with describing our desired happier outcomes and feel supported to achieve them we become stronger and start to have confidence in them. Thoughts are not tangible and they are not real. They are simply how we have put words together. Taking control of them is an amazing life skill.

Bringing this back to Nature- The Playful Yoker I can see that I do this a lot myself. When I could hear the wind outside, the rain pouring and saw the dark, dull skies I could let it fill me with dread and despondency but somewhere along the way (I know it was my family) I was shown that if I see the potentials that come from a stormy, wintery day then I will feel excitement instead. Approaching life from this perspective can come and go. I make the most of those times when it fills me with a sense of adventure.

I have gone a little off course but it is allconnected. We have at our disposal a wealth of scientific explanations. We have a hugely underrated sixth sense that I believe incorporates ‘common sense’ and ‘instinct’ at our disposal. However, I find there are limits tomy ability to understand some of the science! Furthermore, I don’t just want logic and formulars. My limitations in understanding must not get in the way of me feeling the magic of my surroundings. I don’t need to understand everything I just want to know the natural world like you would a good friend or like family with all it’s peculiarities and quirks. I know some amazing, imaginative scientists who find this same joy in the language they use. It just goes to show the importance of communication as a whole and offering as many ways and access points as possible in to understanding and connecting with our world.

Furthermore, the more we engage in the natural world and explore its quirky interesting playful games, the richer our stories can be when we are faced with a need to challenge those more annoying, debilitating thoughts that we sometimes have to bat away! 

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