Pockets of Joy

My sister and me (standing)

by Neva Bodin

So many sorrows this fall for us: my sister’s death, friends battling cancer, other friends with other troubles. It seems as if the world is closing in on a personal level sometimes. But, as I wrote on a Facebook entry, pockets of joy can always be found on the gray fabric of our days.

As a fashion designer adds accents of color, lines or items to focus the attention on, and designs that flatter the figure, I believe our creator/fashion designer also splashed colors, lines, and objects that draw our attention, and then our ooo’s and ahhh’s. Just to help us forget if but for a moment, that we are dealing with issues that sear the soul and cause us grief and sadness.

On impulse I signed up for a plein air art workshop last week. This means painting a scene outside. The location was 44.8 miles from my house, on a ranch in an area we had never been—up the side of a mountain, round and round, past granite cliffs, open meadows, deer and cows. We reached a ranch where a beautiful black and white paint horse greeted us from the pasture by the yard.dscn3752

My description of the scene convinced my hubby to go on a drive past the ranch and further into the mountains last Sunday. It was a designer’s dream, if you designed mountains, meadows and forest.

While we were atop mountains, we drove by several ranches, a recently built wind farm with multiple humongous wind mills, herds of deer and cattle, and finally the road trickled down, (as all roads in Wyoming seem to do) to a two rut trail. We rumbled over many cattle guards in this land of open range.

dscn3779The sun was warm, the air cool and carrying scents of grass, wet fall foliage, and pine. A western Bluebird crossed our path. Mule deer watched curiously as we passed. And I’m sure many unseen creatures breathed sighs of relief when we didn’t stop near their hiding places.

So I share some of the pictures of the scenes we saw—my pockets of joy
dscn3792 in this autumn season.

Pockets of gold adorn this high altitude landscape
A creek on the ranch near the barn where barn dances were held years ago. A big red hip-roofed barn stands beside the creek.

20 thoughts on “Pockets of Joy

  1. Your post made me think of many landscape views I’ve experienced through my decades, ones where I actually thought to myself, “I have to remember this. It stirs my soul.” I’ve often thought back to some of the views, and tried to incorporate them in novels.


  2. Neva, for every sorrow, there seems to be a balm in front of us, if we but look. I have found many such pockets as I’ve journeyed through love and loss. Thank you for sharing yours with us. Doris


  3. “…and finally the road trickled down, (as all roads in Wyoming seem to do) to a two rut trail.” For me, that’s the most vivid pocket of joy in your post. I love two rut trails. They’re scarce in my part of the country these days. Thanks for the image.


    1. Thanks Kathy for your comments. I love those roads too, bumpy sometimes but I feel as if I’m treading where few others tread, (until sometimes I see a broken beer bottle). How exciting the early explorers and fur traders must have felt to see country only native Americans and wild animals had seen before!


  4. Beautiful photos, Neva! I LOVE the paint horse and autumn colors, especially! I’m so sorry for the sorrows you’ve suffered recently; I’m thankful you’re finding ways to ease the pain, through your creative endeavors and spending time with the Creator in the beauty of His creation. Thank you for sharing your journey with this lovely post!


  5. Your post coincides somewhat with mine. We heal through our art whether it’s writing, painting, playing music, or dancing. I’m so glad you got to experience such beauty and hope it helped ease your pain somewhat. Lovely photos.


    1. Basically, it just means painting outside, but has to sound fancy and probably french! It really was joyful to see and experience all that colorful beauty. Thanks for the nice comments!


  6. Beautiful photos. I am so sorry for your losses. I’ve been praying for you. I’d love to see some of your art. Maybe your next blog could be about your art. We can see your inspiration. Cher’ley


  7. Very nice Neva. It is good for the soul to find pockets of joy. Sometimes you need to drive 44 miles, but they are out there. Wishing you strength and finding more joyful pockets.


  8. I’m so glad it’s now much easier for people to take lots of beautiful photos to remind them of such lovely swathes of colour, as in your photos above, Neva. When you take them out at a later date you’ll remember exactly why you were in the vicinity. Perhaps you’ll share your painting with us? 😉


    1. I know I typed a reply a couple days ago but I don’t see it here! Must be floating around in cyberspace somewhere. I do have some paintings on my website: http://www.nevabodin.net, but I may share something about them in a blog someday too. I truly enjoyed that drive and the scenery I shot with my camera. They are great memories.


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