Late last December I was (once again) walking through the hills in the cold winter dark. After a while, my mind started to drift to a book I had finished the day before. The book briefly went into the Genius Loci, which is the spirit of a specific place. A protective spirit that lives and serves a specific canyon, hill, or meadow. I started to think about the canyon I was walking up, because I know there is something there. I’ve felt it. It is a nice feeling, and I like it a whole lot. In my mind, I began to wonder what that spirit living in my canyon might look like…
And as soon as I had that thought, before the thought had even completely formed, a deer walked out of a bunch of trees about twenty feet above me and to my right. We just stood there looking at each other for a long time. She was beautiful, and I told her so. She was a doe, a deer, a female deer, but all of those trees behind made it look like she had this huge and incredible rack of antlers reaching up into the sky.
After what seemed like a long time, she started to move off, and I continued on my way. As I walked on, I kept thinking “Nature looks back at you.” This wasn’t the first time I’d thought and felt that Nature was watching, but I certainly did feel it that evening.
And Nature does look back at you. It looks through deer eyes. Through mouse and snake eyes. Through owl, rabbit and otter eyeballs. Even the trees and plants… they also know and see you in their own way. Just go outside for a while and sit with the biggest and oldest tree you can find, and you’ll see. You may also see that Nature also looks out through your eyes as well. We are all important pieces, helping complete creation.
Anyway, a few weeks later I was in a class doing in a sort of guided meditation. The meditation was meant to help you find/create a totem animal or, more accurately, a servitor that can assist you in some way. I had been struggling with some creative blocks that I felt like I needed help with. As I sat there meditating, my deer started to take shape in my mind’s eye. It was a different season, and it was sitting in the grass, but my deer with tree-horns came to visit me. It was great to see the deer again, and now you can see it too! Yep, right up there at the top of this post
You can also see my initial deer drawing below. I did the quick drawing after my class to help me get the shapes right.
You can buy my “Nature Looks Back At You” artwork as a canvas print through my website, toddpowelson.com. I’ve also just opened up an artist shop over on Threadless, and you can get the artwork to wear over there: toddpowelson.threadless.com