Anne and I did a nature journaling workshop today, at the Nurture Nature Center in Easton. The class was on writing about, and drawing, clouds, and was run by a very enthusiastic (and competent) woman -- she was a published author, and graphic artist, and her hobby was tornado chasing, so she had all the bases covered.
The drawing part was in the second half of the course: drawing clouds, using graphite pencils and other drawing tools, and was mostly a "how to draw" seminar. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, but it was definitely not my strong suit -- I was there for the words, and that was all in the first half of class. The teacher started with several examples of writing about weather, and ended with a slide show of different types of clouds and interesting things about them -- some of the photos were spectacular, almost unreal -- and in the middle we did a few writing exercises.
Here's my first exercise, a haiku:
This was meant to be something from our lives, some weather that we particularly remember. My example was from when I was a kid: thunderstorms would often concentrate over Freehold, a few miles southeast of our house, and sort of the direction our porch faced. It would be kind of fun to sit on the porch, dry and safe, and watch the faraway flashes. I was thinking after class that the last line was unsatisfactory, and thought it might read better as "I watch from the porch," but now I like it again the way it is.
The other writing exercise was prose, another experience of weather, in one paragraph, and this time we were supposed to make sure we engaged as many of our senses as we could. My story was from a mountain bike ride on Gauley Mountain in West Virginia, though I wrote to deliberately obscure what I was doing there (like maybe I was on a hike), got caught in a storm and almost got hit by lightning.
I was on an old dirt mountain road when the storm came in, warm rain at first but it got colder. I was up just high enough that the rain clouds were bumping the trees around me, then lowered and I was in fog, and then I started to hear the thunder. There was really nothing to do but keep going, until a loud CRACK! and flash to my right sent me scrambling over the embankment. I lay in mud and wet cow-itch, laughing at myself and my bad luck, for the next hour while I waited for the storm to pass.Anyway, that was my Saturday. How ironic that the day started without a cloud in the sky!