W4W: Inspiration, A Personal Journey


We all need it. So where do you find it? What stimulates you? How do you find your motivation?
 Inspiration is a personal journey. Everyone finds it in a different place.

For me it is Mother Nature. Yes, I know it is such a cliche but this won't surprise anyone that visits my blog. We live on such a beautiful planet and I have only witnessed a small piece of what is out there. Everyday I find something in nature that inspires me. Of course nature's grandeur is often breathtaking with awe inspiring views and scenery but what really gets me are the amazing details. I like getting up close and appreciating the little things.

  There are many lessons to be learned from nature, it is always my go to place. If you listen, Mother Nature is always communicating. We just need to open our ears, eyes, heart and mind.

 Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.
- An Ute Prayer

My journey began as a child when my mother planted the seed that grew within me. I watched her in the garden as she created a beautiful palate of colors and textures that was the envy of all our neighbors. It was my favorite place to play, relax and enjoy the outdoors. We moved often to many different parts of the United States and abroad but we always had the most amazing garden. My mother would start on the garden even before all the boxes were unpacked. Growing up I recall spending a lot of time outdoors, rain or shine, snow or ice. We experienced it all. Family hikes in the mountains, trips to beaches and everywhere in between, fueled a love for nature and all its flora and fauna.

My Opi, Dad (camera in hand) and I in Hamburg, Germany

My father's photography inspired my love of the landscape and seeing the world from behind the lens. I recall stopping often on drives through the countryside or mountains so that he could get a certain shot. I often find myself doing the exact same thing. He always lugged his huge camera case filled with numerous lenses and tripod even when we went hiking. His cameras of choice were a Hasselblad, Linhof and Zeiss Contarex. I spent many hours with him in our basement dark room observing the master at work. He was my own personal Ansel Adams. He gave me my first Polaroid when I was nine years old and I was hooked. I continue to aspire to his level of mastery of the craft but my primary focus is to document nature and the beauty and lessons it has to offer.

As a mother I have passed on my parent's teachings about nature to my children. I am ardent that my children spend as much time outdoors as possible...playing, exploring, examining and learning. I think Mother Nature is one of the best teachers a child can have.

My youngest son with a lizard.

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
~ Unknown

Education is the key. It opens one's mind to so many possibilities and allows us to make informed decisions. As a Master Gardener, I have the distinct privilege to teach children about the outside world and the importance of a healthy Eco-system. I teach them how to grow food and explain the health benefits of eating a colorful platter. The children love to get outside and see, feel, touch and observe the plants and wildlife around them. They have such curious minds that are ready to absorb as much knowledge as we can feed them. In our day of technology this is more critical than ever. Children need to reconnect with the dirt and learn to use all 5 senses outdoors. My hope is that I will inspire one of these students to become a gardener and good stewards of our planet. Their curiosity, excitement and willingness to learn inspires me to continue down this path.

Inspiration can be found in many places and many ways. Sometimes we are inspired by people, events or experiences. Sometimes it is a book, a photograph or observation. You can read a wonderful serious of posts at Garden Walk Garden Talk about inspiration. And I encourage you to check out the links for Word for Wednesday to see what others have to say. Who knows, maybe you will be inspired.


  1. BEAUTIFUL!!!! Thank you for inspiring me! xo!

  2. A VERY pretty post your pictures are wonderful..
    hugs, Cherry

  3. You echo much of my early life and my emotions toward the land, the earth. It is very special to me, my sanctuary. With your love and respect of nature, your children will no doubt be just as in love with nature as you. This was a beautiful post, and I loved the prayer.

  4. You wrote such an inspiring post. I say that and really mean it too. We must be kindred souls because so much of what you said is how I really feel. I did not have parents that did either photography or gardening, but we lived on my grandfather's estate and he was great inspiration to me in so many ways. He was from Germany originally and traveled back there to see family often. I only wished he lived long enough to have taken me along one time.

    Teaching the children is the highest of callings I believe. Your photo of your son with the lizard on his shoulder is darling.

  5. I know your children will love nature, and it is wonderful that you are passing on the knowledge of gardening to the next generation. Unfortunately, I think this is an art that is being lost in these times. Loved seeing the picture of you in Germany!

  6. It was nice to learn about how your passion for nature and photography came about. It is always meaningful to me to see how genetics/nurturing have played a role in passions within family members and it's comforting to know that we pass on these loves and that they will live long past our lives. Beautiful post, Karin. Thanks for sharing.

  7. How wonderful to be have so many interests passed down from your parents. You obviously soaked up a lot between photography and gardening.

  8. What a blessing to grow up with such inspiration! I believe we inspire our children with our passion, especially our passion for the natural world.

  9. Great post. You have been inspired since still in the tummy as everything around you create the personality you would become. You are privileged and you have the birthright. I love most especially that amaryllis photo, oh how i love the lights on it. It inspired me too to try doing the same, because i have that amaryllis at home in the province, haha! thanks.

  10. Your kids are lucky that you're spending a lot of time with them outdoors. That was the case for my kids, too, as I was fortunate to be a part-time freelance writer until they were in school. Those days exploring nature together are priceless treasures and memories. Enjoy!

  11. What a great personal story. It is an important chain - to be inspired by generations before us and then to be inspiration for the generations to come.

  12. Fantastic post. I was reading Jim Harrison a while ago and one of his characters said something like - I don't watch television. It is not real. I look outside and experience the real.

  13. Very nice 'inspiration' post Karin. It is wonderful that you have a connection with your Mom through gardening and your Dad through photography. And I think it is great that continue that tradition by inspiring your own children and others as a master gardener. Children are the future caretakers of out planet and it is important that they value nature. Have a wonderful weekend!


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One of my favorite things about blogging is the conversation with readers. Leave a comment and let's get talking. ~Karin

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