A single vine, with draping pods, intertwines with a flexible birch branch found from the remains of last summer's lush woodland undergrowth.  In the same manner that it was found in the forest, I secured this branch to a piece of moss-covered-tree bark capturing an effortless moment found in nature.  This is what I love about the Japanese art form ikebana.  

Ikebana is a disciplined practice steeped in a rich philosophy about humanity's closeness with nature.  It aims to link the indoors with the outdoor world by celebrating seasonal changes through floral design.  Practiced for more than 600 years, ikebana is considered a traditional art of Japan, and has been revered with the same discipline and historic record as western sculpture and painting. 

Like other forms of art, ikebana is a creative expression within certain rules of construction.  Designs must be made of living plant materials, and each arrangement emphasizes natural forms and graceful lines as the focus. 

Tuning into the natural order and rhythm of nature is the first step in involving oneself with ikebana.  In a little time and inclination, even novice designers can acquire the skills to make these arrangements.  The most important thing we can learn from ikebana is learning to pause, reflect, and simply consider the moment in which we exist.  

Bringing nature home,