One morning this week, I found my creative energy restored by the magic of rest after taking a new turn.
While walking around a lake, I was drawn to a small dirt path I'd seen many times but never taken. The trail turned into a logging road, then started to take me up in elevation; as it did, I could see a mile ahead and felt the promise of a view. When I arrived at the crest of the road, I found myself on a kind of mantle looking out into a vista.
I was stuck for some time in a kind of wonder gaze. Forgetting everything, I let my mind go into the horizon.
From that vantage, I saw far off above an open plane, which dipped down and turned into a dense evergreen forest, then went on till it became the mountains some 50 miles out. On my left was a rising hill that hid all but the peaks of four mountains standing at 9,000 and 10,000 feet. This created the long vista in front of me. The woods below looked like a river bed, filled with a stream of fog and fire smoke, which slowly lifted as the morning wind and sun called it up.
Resting in this new view, I felt life pour back in.
But to find that rest, it took a 50-minute walk, unsure I'd find anything, and saying no to the world that tugs at my sleeve - asking me to start work early because maybe I'll get more done - the little lie of "do more" constantly whispering in my ear.
I tried to put some of the creativity of the place in my pocket, then turned and put the mountains to my back and returned to the logging road.
Creativity requires oscillating between the consistent focused doing and the open space for the wandering mind. Often, my default is to "do more", but lately I've found success when I fight for rest.