Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cosmic Frog healed me today!

About a week ago I visited the Fabyan Forest Preserve in Batavia. The Fox Valley area is where I grew up. My parents both passed away about 10 years ago and I have felt no real inclination to visit my childhood neighborhood anymore. Except I suddenly had to honor a recent impulse to visit this particular preserve where memories of empty bear cages, tangly brush and vines that seemed so mysterious tugged at my child heart, who was so into imagination and fantasy in those days. My heart quickened as I thought about the adventure ahead. My camera needed a workout anyway, as I had not been inspired to take pictures for awhile. New opportunities awaited!

I was in a for a rude awakening, though. About 9 years ago or so, the preserve underwent a makeover, and the grounds were groomed into a neater, more "pleasing" appearance to those who sauntered there. Now I could see the fences that kept the once overgrown vines in their hanging half circle formation. My mind kept shifting to the past. No pavement, no stairs back then, just grass and weeds to walk through and stumble on, with resultant bruised knees.

"Entrance to Fabyan Preserve and Japanese Garden
Digital Photograph

The sundial which had lain haphazardly on the ground partially covered with overgrowth amongst the rocky terrain was now in a place of honor on a pedestal for all to see. The landscaped grounds formed a "pleasing" backdrop.

The bear cage and arena which had always given me shivers when I had walked through it seemed rather ordinary now in the bright sunlight. I take that back, I still felt a few chills run through me; the arena area still had its spooky charm.

"Bear cage entrance to Arena"
Digital Photograph

Everything had changed externally and I was jolted into the reality of it all, but my internal memories still burned within and I refused to let them ago.

I walked over to a swampy area and saw a frog sitting in shallow water. He was still, quite motionless and allowed me to get quite close for a few photographs. Here was frog medicine helping me to heal my now shattered viewpoint. I was grateful for his presence and thanked him for being there. On the drive home, I seemed lost in reverie, still shaken by all I had just witnessed. Even as I write this now, I feel a bit teary-eyed, but to put these words down is also cathartic.

After I had downloaded the photos from the trip onto the computer, I decided to transform frog and the background so I could somehow recreate those magical, childhood memories of the preserve. I "cut" some duck feathers from another photo and pasted it onto the frog's back. I'm not sure why I did this, perhaps just to give the frog capabilities of flying into the sky if he so desired. I also just thought it added an interesting texture to the rather "flat" form. I played with colorful lines, infusing the frog with energy. The lines made me recall silly string that we used to shoot at each other as kids and I laughed, remembering those carefree days. The background was created several months ago and I felt like popping the frog into that fantasy landscape. He seemed to like it there and I could "hear" him croaking with delight.

"Cosmic Frog"
Digital Photograph

I shall honor the child who I was and still am, and this image reinforces that. This creation helped me to heal and work through some emotions. My inner child went from despondent to joyful and all it took was Cosmic Frog to hop into her life. And people wonder why we are artists. If they'd just take a few minutes to create, a whole new world would open up and they'd get some answers and maybe a dose of healing too. Frog sure opened up my own heart and was just the therapy I needed.


Carol Anne Strange said...

What an emotional journey, Bev, but an inspirational visit! I'm sure there's a message from the cosmic frog. And just look at him captured in such magical colour and light. Stunning! Wishing you well, my lovely. x

april said...

Wow, yes, what an emotional day. I'm glad you told us about it. And look at Frog! He's bursting with joy that you came to visit.

Doris said...

Really good to hear about working through stop gaps and healing with a little magical guidance from friendly spirits! I enjoy having frogs around with the new ponds down the road. There only had been toads and salamanders previously.

Elena said...

Ok, don't think me nuts but I'm telling you I truly believe in signs now. Those that believe in animal guides believe the following about the frog:

Healing. As water cleanses the arid earth and returns life to it so Frog's medicine can wash away any physical and mental energies which deprive us of harmony and peace, and helps to replenish our own ability to heal ourselves on all levels.