Vanishing Beauty

Quinn Blackburn

Bethel Park, United States

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“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” ~John Burroughs

“Nature is man’s teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence.” ~Alfred Billings Street

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.” ~William Blake

Everywhere I look in Nature, I see Divinity, inspiration, miracles and wisdom. I am continuously amazed that more people aren’t stopped dead in their tracks at the Beauty constantly unfolding around us, and so many seem to dismiss these wonders as “merely” a tree, or “only sunlight”… ordinary, unremarkable, or commonplace.

I look at the layers of color, light and shadow as the winds play through the leaves of this lovely horse chestnut, and am breathless with awe… a child again wondering how best to make my way up into those inviting spaces and see the world from the Tree’s perspective. Oblivious to human observation, I can never resist pausing to feel the texture of bark beneath my hand as I listen to the subtle songs being woven, unnoticed by those passing by… Each time, there is a tug of pity in my heart for those that seem blind and deaf, uninspired by these simple miracles.

Once an important hardwood source, the magnificent American Chestnut is slowly vanishing before the devastating blight that seems intent on consuming this magnificent Teacher. How soon before the wonders and wisdom held by this simple tree has passed away beyond our reach? How tragic if we let it pass us by unnoticed!

Artwork Comments

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