Looking For Inspiration

Where do you go when you need inspiration?

A little fall color can re-inspire.

The last few weeks have been very stressful for me. A large portion of this stress revolved around the 2012 ASLA Annual Meeting and all of my responsibilities associated with it.

There were times I was so frustrated that I wanted to just walk away from it all.

However, I’m not that kind of person; I would never have forgiven myself if I had.

Maybe it was work stress, maybe it was borderline exhaustion, but I’m glad I persevered, because it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life.

Any time I attend a professional conference, I usually walk away from the event revitalized and energized, and this year was no exception.

There is something really unique and uplifting about engaging with other people who share your passion, whatever that may be.

It’s obvious that the economy is still struggling, but I was amazed by the positive attitudes of most attendees.While there are some signs of new development and growth within our profession, many are still watching from the sidelines, either unemployed or engaged in related professions.

I am one of those. I’ve been working in the environmental planning field for almost four years now. While I have come to appreciate and even embrace my new career, sometimes I long for the creative aspects of landscape architecture.

If you are a long-time reader, you’ll remember about a year ago when I wrote about taking a trip to northern Arizona to see the changing of the colors and how we almost died by being struck by lightning when we were riding the ski lift.

(OK, maybe I didn’t share that much detail, but it did happen. If you want to read that post, you can find it here .)

I believe that sometimes you must remove yourself from your daily environment to find that lost inspiration.

One of my co-workers lives in Flagstaff and telecommutes four days a week. He happened to be in the office last Friday, and while we were talking, he mentioned that the leaves were changing and the weather had been really nice the last few days.

Since we didn’t have any plans for the weekend and the weather was gorgeous, my wife and I decided to take a spontaneous road trip up north to see the first signs of autumn.

Work has been more than a little stressful for both of us lately, and it was nice to just get away for the day. It’s amazing how just a couple of hours north of the hustle and bustle of the city, life slows to a snail’s pace and you can find yourself in the mountains, with the wind whispering through the trees the only sound for miles around.

It was a beautiful day to ride the ski lift to the top of the mountain again. This time, the weather was beautiful, albeit a little cool, but perfect for a day to see the brightly colored foliage.

I always find inspiration in the changing of the seasons and enjoy nature’s brilliant and vibrant display of color. While we do not get the dramatic change in foliage here in the “Valley,” it’s nice to know that inspiration lies only a couple hours north.

Where do you go to find inspiration when you feel like it is lacking? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on twitter at @CDGLA or email: bcoleman001@gmail.com