The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Andrea

Last month John Grant, aka Meticulous Mick, shared the importance of nature, travel, and culture to make one feel truly alive. In my monthly series, The Life Enthusiast Chronicles, fantastic humans from all over the world explain why life is so incredible to them.

Today I’m excited to present Andrea Stephenson of Harvesting Hecate to you all. Andrea’s blog exudes mysticism and playfulness and is always a phenomenal one to read. Often I feel that I am seeing the world like a child again when I read her posts. She marvels at the world around her, especially mother nature, and her beautiful way with words shines brightly every time. This gal’s been on my list of Life Enthusiast prospects for some time, so I’m pleased to finally have her over.

Connect with Andrea on Twitter

Wow us, Andrea…

bird in meadow

When Britt asked me to contribute to her life enthusiast series, I thought: ‘who me?’ I was honoured and not a little nervous to be counted among this group of inspiring bloggers.

And I haven’t always been enthusiastic about life. Years of sporadic depression and difficult life events in the last decade have seriously tested my enthusiasm.

But what has always propelled me forward and the reason I could never give up on life, is curiosity. 

It’s easy to forget how miraculous the world is. We often take it and our existence in it for granted, when the fact that we’re here at all is a miracle in itself. Whether you see our existence as god-given or a happy accident, here we are, living and breathing and enjoying all of the things the world has to offer.


I began this post in the heart of the forest, surrounded by small miracles. 

Above my head, nestled in the eaves of the veranda, is a swallow’s nest. An astounding feat of engineering, moulded from dirt that seems precariously positioned.

The parents are relentless. You can watch them in the distance, swooping for insects. They return every few minutes, for hours, perching on the edge of the nest to feed their chirruping babies. They never miss, flitting in and out in seconds as the babies become more vocal. And then I have only to look before me to see other small miracles: the trailing larch with its delicate branches and ruddy fir cones, waving grasses, luminous buttercups, luscious orchids. 

I’m at my most content, my most ‘me’ surrounded by nature. Wandering through a forest, or along the coast, with a dog at my side is perfection.

dog in woods

group walking on beach

And though I could simply soak it up and be content at its beauty, there’s always that part of me that is curious about what I see. You’ll often hear me mutter to myself ‘I wonder what that is’ and I’ll head over to have a look and make a wonderful discovery. More than anything, I’m curious about how all of this came to be and why it is so varied. Why not just one species of fly, one species of bird, one species of mammal?

The world is a cornucopia of beauty. Every single thing has purpose and sometimes it stops me in my tracks when I remember how amazing it is.

I would enjoy nature knowing nothing about it. But knowing the little that I do: how well everything works together, the continuous cycle of life and of the seasons, gives me added enjoyment. I love mystery, but I also love to know what something is. I’m curious not only about how things work but about what will happen next…where will I be in ten years time, what will I live to see, what experiences will I have had?


I think life is about exploration. It doesn’t matter whether you explore the world or you never leave your home town, it’s about exploring the wonders of life. And we all have interests that prompt that exploration.

And yes, this world can be cruel and horrific.

Sometimes being curious might seem like a disadvantage, because it causes me to think deeply about the terrible things that happen too. I rarely just accept, instead I question and rail against. Not always a comfortable state of being. But this does mean that I connect, with the good and the bad, and that makes for a fuller experience of life. 

I’m creative because I’m curious. If I had no curiosity, I’d have no desire to follow a story to its conclusion or to continue brushing paint on a canvas. 

The easiest way to be unenthusiastic about life is to lack curiosity. So if you’re feeling apathetic, my advice is to find something you can be curious about.

60 thoughts on “The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Andrea

  1. Beautiful photos and post! I often go out to observe nature and always wonder how people can look at it all and believe this beautful world is just some random act from a primordial pool

  2. Andrea, I have a favorite black and white print of a “tiny child walking through the forest”, and the photographer has captured, perfectly, that sense of awe and curiosity that you so eloquently communicate here with your beautiful writing and photographs, Thank you!!

    1. Thank you Henrietta – nature makes me feel like a child, with that wonderful curiosity and innocent awe. I think it’s impossible to be jaded when you walk through a forest or by the sea 🙂

  3. I always love reading Andrea’s words. She reminds us to stop and look around, to look at nature’s details, to be curious, to be in awe. Thanks for shining your blog light on her, Britt.

    p.s. I love that first photo of Andrea on those huge rocks! (and her darling border too, of course. Borders rule!!).

    1. Thanks Letizia, I love nature’s details. Some of the wonders are so tiny that you’d miss them if you didn’t look closely, yet they’re perfectly beautiful on a minute scale. Yay for Borders, the life enthusiasts of the dog world 🙂

  4. I love the way I see the world through your eyes Andrea. We physically see the same things but you make me look at things a second time, or from a different angle, and consider them rather than just moving on immediately.
    Glad you made it through Britt’s demanding selection process 🙂

    1. Thanks Roy, I’m glad some of my curiosity rubs off on you 🙂 As one of the life enthusiast posse you’ll know yourself how demanding that selection process is, I think I need a lie down now…:-)

  5. Reblogged this on Harvesting Hecate and commented:
    I was delighted to be asked to become one of Britt Skrabanek’s posse of life enthusiasts over at ‘A physical perspective’. Britt is life enthusiasm personified so it’s an honour to be featured on her blog as part of this series. So, if you’d like to know my secret to staying enthusiastic about life, head over to Britt’s place and take a look at her wonderful writing while you’re there.

  6. Thank you Britt, for inviting me to give my own spin on life enthusiasm. I’ve always loved reading this series and found it amazingly inspiring to discover what makes others enthusiastic about life. I’m ridiculously thrilled to be here 🙂

  7. I’m so happy you finally got to ask Andrea to the Life Enthusiast Chronicles, Britt! Her blog is a true gem in word & image.

    Wonderful, wonderful post Andrea ..they always are. You’re such an amazingly talented and inspiring writer.
    I feel so much in tune with this post as I go about life with the same amount of curiosity and wonder. It fuels our passions, desires and sparks our creativity. Wasn’t it Einstein who said; “I have no special talent, I’m only passionately curious”

    1. Ah thanks Karin for those lovely words. You will have lots to be curious about at the moment, lots of new wonders to discover. Great quote, I think that could be said for lots of ‘talented’ people.

  8. Many congratulations on this wonderful guest post Andrea! Your beautifully creative posts, in word and photographs, never fail to inspire. It is wonderful to share in your undiminished curiousity in nature and the magical beauty of creation that is right in front of our eyes, if only we really look. You continually remind us to keep that curiousity alive through your special brand of mystery and wonderment, and this post is no exception 🙂

      1. On a related note, my husband says I ask questions all the time about everything, that instead of sentences I utter questions. And I hate to admit it, but I think he’s right!

  9. When I read Andrea’s writing, I naturally slow into this relaxed, peaceful state of mind. Her blog is inspiring, beautifully put together and her writing filled with rich words and evocative descriptions. It’s therapy in itself, as is her outlook on life. She’s very special indeed. Loved this post x

    1. Thanks Kath, looking at all these wonderful writers and artists commenting, including you of course, its clear that we’re all curious about different things but that our curiosity creates a whole wealth of unique things.

  10. I love this post on curiosity, Andrea. I think most creative people are curious by nature, but we live in such a rushed society that we often miss those nuances that could really stoke our imaginations. I often forget to slow down, take a look around, find something new or unusual or simply pretty, and appreciate it for what it is. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. Another wonderfully insightful post Andrea. Curiosity is the cornerstone to being creative – and you’ve expressed this in so many ways. I love dipping into your blog – it’s one of the first I check out when I’m scouting through my reader!
    Thanks to Britt for giving you an extra platform.

  12. I think one cause of many of society’s problems is that people have forgotten how to truly observe the world around us, ask questions about what we see, and then think about how to answer those questions ourselves. Now, too many of us live with eyes glued to smart phones and computers and ears covered by headphones and expecting simple, ready-made answers on demand. Life just doesn’t work that way!

    Great to see you in the spotlight here on Britt’s blog!

  13. What a lovely post, Andrea 🙂

    I sometimes wonder if people who just accept and don’t question are happier. But I find it nigh-on impossible to put myself in their heads and imagine having no curiosity; instead, just blind acceptance. Yes, curiosity tends to go with an overactive mind/imagination that perceives multiple angles to everything, good and bad. I know that the times I’ve suffered from depression in my life, are times where that perceiving of too many angles has caused my brain to overload and overturn into a blackness that’s the absolute opposite of curiosity. Then my mantra becomes “There is nothing new under the sun”. But of course, there is. Have you ever seen two clouds exactly alike? Are identical twins really identical? Only at first glance, but not when you get to know them.

  14. Thanks Sarah – yes, at times I’ve often felt my life would have been easier if I didn’t think so much – that’s when curiosity can cause me to feel overwhelmed – so much to see, learn, do but also so much to put right with the world. But then, without that care and curiosity life would be uninspiring.

  15. Great advice Andrea. Curiosity can propel us out and about. We can discover so many amazing things in the world. My friend and I spent last weekend mining for Herkimer Diamonds and cruising Lake George. The world has so many things to uncover. It’s about getting out there and finding them. 🙂

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