Music makes you present.
And as everyday is filled with constant distractions at every corner it is extremely hard to become fully present to really anything.
I find my solace and peace of mind in music and nature. For a brief moment in time while I am singing or listening to a song, or going for a walk in the forest or through the greenhouse; all of my anxieties, comparisons, deadlines and worries seem to just dissipate. Life once again becomes simple like it was when you were a kid; as you start to only pay attention to the sounds and vibrations of a song, or the sight and scent of your beautiful surroundings. Your mind is your own, and you aren’t overwhelmed by one thousand whirling thoughts.
When you temporarily tune out the chaotic world around you everything seems new and exciting again, and ideas begin to flow as you feel refreshed. For me this is what the feeling of creativity is. It’s a state of mind I crave and try to experience as often as possible… although at times it can seem next to impossible to attain.
When I was fifteen my brother helped me get my first summer job at the local greenhouse where he was already working, so I could save up money to buy my own acoustic guitar. Going into the job I had no idea that I would be returning for the next seven years; but after the experience of spending my days in a glass box under the sun surrounded by flowers bursting with colour… working anywhere else in the summertime just wasn’t an option for me anymore.
These years allowed my musicianship to blossom as I was constantly in an environment that forced me to focus only on what was right in front of me. There were no screens, and no cellphones allowed on the floor so for the majority of the shift it was just you and the plants– tending to them, watering them, and organizing them by colour, shape and size. This automatically forced me to become fully present to my surroundings; which was the warmth of the sun, the bright colours and scents of the flora, and of course the classic rock radio station playing over the speakers.
Many of my original songs that I sing today started in the greenhouse as the melodies and lyrics popped into my head as I was working. I was constantly in the perfect environment to encourage creative thoughts and would jot down everything in a notepad I kept in my pocket. And when I went home I tried to translate the high-focus developed at work straight into practicing the guitar.
After a few years practicing the guitar in my room, I started performing live at BBQ’s and backyard parties; and even in the greenhouse with a co-worker or solo during the “Moonlight Maddess” Sales, and Charity Fundraisers.
There is just something about making music outside surrounded by nature that makes you feel so alive! Although today I spend the majority of my days in an office at a computer screen for work, I still take any opportunity that is presented to me to play music at the greenhouse; and go for walks up and down the aisles of plants if I experience writers block, or can’t seem to shake off an upsetting situation.
It wasn’t until I left that I realized: how freeing it is not being “connected” all the time, how important it is to disconnect to become fully present, and how essential it is to make the time to focus on the simple things in life –and do nothing but hum a happy tune to yourself once and a while, or treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers for no apparent reason.
“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.”Alexander Den Heije