Mother Nature’s reminders of not to take life for granted….

“Even with all our technology and the inventions that make modern life so much easier than it once was, it takes one big natural disaster to wipe all that away and remind us that, here on Earth, we’re still at the mercy of nature”  Neil deGrasse Tyson – Scientist

Fires fuelled by drought, high temperatures and wind along with other catastrophic natural disasters are all contributing factors to the millions of displaced people roaming the earth looking for somewhere to live and work.

Quintin – watercolour     P1150314It is very easy for those of us with a roof over our heads, food in the cupboards and an ordered infrastructure to live within to believe that we are OK…..All those awful things only happen to other people.     It would seem that we take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

Tom – American poet20-11-15-1-745I was prompted to write this post because two people I know have been effected by the terrible fires in California.       All of a sudden ordered lives have been turned upside down and inside out……For many life is now unrecognisable.

The same of course can be said for the people so badly pummelled by recent hurricanes and flooding…..Within hours, all that was ‘normal’ – has changed.

Lyn  1003044_10151806614305396_576151846_n

Although I have never been in such a catastrophe – I have had major changes in my life which have meant learning to live in new ways.     Most certainly, they have taught me never to take anything for granted.

When people’s lives are torn apart…it takes time to pick up the pieces – to start again.     Orderly lives are replaced with fragmentation…..routines disappear until new ones are established.     The more adaptable we are, the better.

P1160910Speaking from personal experience, change can come with new opportunities.   New ways to see ourselves – new ways to live our lives.

Once again, I believe that the creative process can help and indeed maybe guide some into a new more creative way of being.      Creatives are very familiar with seeing life in many different ways….which is the kind of thinking that needs to prevail at such times.

Children playing with shells on Armona Island Portugal. 20-11-15 - 1 (913)One friend said it was very difficult to know what to take when having to leave a home very quickly.   A home filled with years of memories and all the things we tend to take for granted.

Peter Redmond 192175_10151147549835396_728758025_o

Learning to respect Mother Nature is key to living well on Earth.    Every time a piece of litter is dropped – although it may seem insignificant – it shows a lack of respect for our beautiful Earth.

My daughter Christie with two magical hummingbirds. 20-11-15-1-496

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted”.   Aldous Huxley

A Bientôt


23 thoughts on “Mother Nature’s reminders of not to take life for granted….

  1. Teagan R. Geneviene

    Dear Janet thank you for this post — filled with wise and lovely words, as well as beautiful art. I especially liked the hummingbirds with Christie. The quotes from Tyson and Huxley were brilliant additions. Have a thriving Thursday, my friend. Hummingbird hugs.

  2. Katherine

    I like these portrait very much,I suppose we let our minds fill with whatever is going on,desires,wishes,chatter.Then if the washing machine won’t work it seems like the end of the world when we could in fact wash many things in the sink!It’s as if when nothing major is wrong lesser worries expand to fill the space.We may see only by telling ourselves to compare our life to those of poorer people in disaster struck countries.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning Katherine, Thank you for your insightful comment……you are so right for many when the washing machine breaks down it is a huge catastrophe 🙂 .Glad you like the portraits…I do love painting these spontaneous watercolour portraits. Wishing you a beautiful and creative weekend…Janet xx

  3. inesephoto

    Excellent post, Janet. It is all true what you are saying. Precious gifts are taken for granted, wasted and lost. Beautiful portraiture, and I especially love the portrait of your daughter. Have a happy and peaceful week! xx

  4. davidjrogersftw

    Janet–“Quintin”– what a lovely, lovely watercolor portrait–that combination of sadness and anticipation in those dark eyes; the brooding eyes of Lyn; the hummingbirds fluttering joyfully around daughter Christe. So nice.

    It seems to me that art–the beauty of it, the capacity to create it–is an antidote to the sometimes cruel whims of nature and circumstance, a strength the creative can count of even when everything seems to be falling apart in the world and in personal life. No matter what is happening around her or him the painter paints, the writer writes, the actor acts, and the blogger blogs, never deterred very long.

    One thing we can count on across this world is the ability of the members of the human race to overcome threats to their peace of mind, their property, and their very lives. In every case, wherever there is great danger there are many people displaying extraordinary courage. We can count on that.

    Thank you for another exceptional post, friend. We out here need people such as you.

    All the best,

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David, Thank you so much for this lovely comment. I met Quintin in Brittany, France 25 years ago. He was staying with some good friends….because his parent’s marriage had just finished. Initially he was closed off and then after sitting and making quick sketches of him in the garden for several hours – he relaxed….and we bonded in that moment. I will never forget it. I have not seen Quintin since. Today he would be 30 years old and I often wonder where he is and what he is doing. I love making spontaneous watercolours – trying to capture the essence of someone very quickly. If they are laboured, it doesn’t work.
      I agree with you that the capacity to create can be an antidote to the whims of nature and circumstance. The creative process has most definitely kept me alive during difficult times…..

      Also thank you for the reminder of the great courage which is shown every day by people around the world. Often not reported on….but always there.

      Hop you are enjoying a lovely autumn in Chicago. On the 8th November I go to Wales again for a few days and then onto Somerset. to be with good friends and of course to paint. Best wishes to you David and hope that your creative juices are flowing. Janet 🙂

  5. mikeoxon

    Amazing portraits – I love the colour! I especially like the last one with Hummingbirds. An unusual and striking composition, and you have used the photographic technique of ‘differential focus’, with that wonderfully sharp beak against the soft face behind. Yes … amazing!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good afternoon and thank you very much for such a lovely comment. I really enjoy painting spontaneous watercolour portraits – always trying to capture the essence of my subject. Janet 🙂

  6. Margaret Parker Brown

    I somehow missed this post and I am only miles away from some devastating fires. I saw the destruction riding on our motorcycles last weekend, homes gone, the land burned. This fire moved so fast that most of the trees were not torched, but travelling through the area yesterday, these trees are dead, killed by the intense heat. So sad. We are used to the danger of fire and have been very lucky, we have had a fire on our property a couple of years ago and only a quarter acre burned. Thank you for bringing awareness to all the misery of these natural disasters, life is short and often transient. Cheers!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Hi Margaret….I wasn’t sure whether or not you were effected but clearly it was very close. Glad to hear that your property was saved this time. Where you live is such a beautiful part of the States….however, I the fires can clearly be a huge problem I hope you enjoy a weekend of painting. Janet 🙂


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