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"But alone in distant woods or fields, in unpretending sprout lands or pastures tracked by rabbits, even on a black and, to most, cheerless day, like this, when a villager would be thinking of his inn, I come to myself, I once more feel myself grandly related, and that the cold and solitude are friends of mine."

Henry David Thoreau

With the Thanksgiving holiday in the near past and the Christmas season beginning, I feel so thankful for family, friends and the great fortune of living is such a beautiful space that is so inspiring and peaceful. As much as I love spending time with family and friends, I know that, like Thoreau, I feel "related" and connected when I hike through the junipers and sage in the quiet and cold of winter.

I also appreciate the word "unpretending" that Thoreau uses to describe the land. Part of the appeal that nature has for me is that it is so thoroughly real; there is nothing fake about it; it is sincere and unapologetic; it simply is.

In a world in which we have "virtual reality", questions about truth and the disturbing feeling of unrealness, Mother Nature gives us the reassurance of solid ground.

I am thankful too, for the opportunity to capture and share that connection to the solid ground in my art.

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