Hello and welcome to March's Monthly Muse challenge, entitled Proof of Living. For this month's challenge Barbara came across this thought provoking magazine article that used the analogy of how a tree's time rings can be used to describe how we have lived through various scenarios in our own lives. "When we look closely at the rings of a tree, often we can perceive more than just the length of it's life. Woven into the variation of color are clues about the years that were rich with rain, as well as those that were dry. Signs of bounty, perseverance, and survival. This piece of nature feels especially apt as we look back at the themes of our year: purpose, risk, rhythm, and rest. There is peace that comes with acknowledgement we are not meant to have rings that measure evenly from start to finish. But that in the varied size of each ring, in the everchanging conditions of each year, is the real proof of living." (Magnolia Journal no. 17 | rest https://shop.magnolia.com/products/magnolia-journal-winter-2020) For this month, our weekly prompts will be: Week 1 | Spring/Purpose Week 2 | Summer/Risk Week 3 | Fall/Rhythm Week 4 | Winter/Rest _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Week 1: Spring | Purpose "To approach a new beginning with purpose is to dive deep on a search for that which stirs you. And when you find it, to let that be your compass. While committing to a purpose can sometimes feel daunting, there's grace in trusting that where you are today matters for you for who you will be tomorrow." More than ever my garden has become the main focus in my life, it is my compass and my purpose, it is a part of who I am and who I will be tomorrow. My garden is my refuge, my special place where I can dream and think, watch the wildlife around me and simply immerse myself in nature. I have always loved gardening but during the last few years at our old place on the Australian mainland I had turned away from it a bit, the hot weather was unbearable to work with so I slowly lost interest in it. In 2017/2018 we made a monumental decision to move down to the most southern state of Australia, an island state called Tasmania. I can't begin to describe what a wonderful decision that was! We left behind all our family and our friends but we were both ready for an adventure and we have not regretted it at all! Not having any family or close friends close by, my thoughts and energies have once again turned back to gardening. I have rediscovered my love for growing things, watching and photographing the birds that come to visit and in general just being outside in the glorious weather. For me Spring always feels like a beginning for me in the garden. I eagerly await those first daffodil flowers to bloom and then watch in delight as day after day different plants start to flower. For me it's a time to implement the dreams started in winter, to begin planting the flowers and shrubs I have acquired either from the nursery or transplanted from other parts of the garden in the previous autumn/winter months. Deciding what shrubs will stay and which ones will be moved during the next autumn, what parts of the garden look okay and which ones I will start to refresh and/or replace. My head is simply full of ideas and thoughts on what I want to do. So for my layout this first week of Spring in the northern hemisphere, I created a page with what a part of my garden looked like the first Spring were here in our new house (Sept-Nov'19). During this month of muses I will go on to scrap the transformations that happened the following Summer (Dec'19-Feb'20), Autumn (Mar-May'20), Winter (June-Aug'20) and then I just may do it all again and make a complete album of how my garden has changed over the time we have been here! Credits are in the Gallery Challenge Guidelines Week 1: Of course your layout can be about anything that signifies what Spring/Purpose means to you, it could be your family, a special project or something else that holds a special place in your heart. I am really looking forward to seeing how you all interpret this week's muse, you all have such wonderfully creative minds so I am sure that I will be seeing some pretty special art being created! You may create any style of layout (ie. clean and simple, artsy, pocket style etc.) you wish, with or without a photo. Create any size page you wish. If you want all 4 Muses on one page that's perfectly ok or you can make 4 separate pages!! It's totally up to you! This is for everyone, so have fun and see where the inspiration takes you. Please post your layout to the Art Journaling Gallery HERE prior to March 31st, 2021 and then post it in this thread by copying the code (at the right of your gallery image) from the box under "Share BB Code". We will draw a winner at the beginning of next month for a coupon!! You can use any products in The Lilypad store or retired products from current Lilypad designers, (just make sure you follow our gallery guidelines).