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blades of grass

 The blades of grass are growing tall and the first days of summer are making me feel like I have something in common with the world. I walk around outside like I wasn't born to die or change, I see the words forever written on every wildflower, and I go to sleep with a heart full after sowing in the garden or sitting in the sun. I don't know how I keep from letting my heart go pale, like my legs, in the other seasons. It has to be the memory of this — the pink & blue morning sky, drinking coffee while counting spots on lady bugs, eating crackers and cheese while the soft breeze hums, putting my hands out as I walk and feeling the tall grass roll against me, snapdragons, cosmos, freckles becoming like stars on the faces of those who press against the sky, naked sleeps, and the inability to hear the exhale that comes after a thought full of sadness. I'm too happy and soothed with summer to notice what makes a heart break.

 I'm going camping this weekend and I don't want to miss a moment of it. We haven't been camping in a long while unless you count sleeping in the back of our van after a night of too much liquor and waking up to pee in the mountain rain. We'll drive to Waterton, we'll eat early am hash browns on the way (my favorite), we'll watch the campfire roar, we'll listen for forest noises, we'll fish and we'll dig at the roots of every good day as if we don't know how to have a bad day. It will be the first bite of summer and it will taste fine like fresh bread soaked in butter.

Camping and summertime, I am yours. You are mine.

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Ramblings from the hillside

When I feel like putting on my writer's cap, it usually occurs in the morning or early afternoon. As soon as moonshine falls onto those who are living where it lands, I do other things. I pick the guitar, I talk to whoever looks like they're listening, I go to where music is playing, I exercise my thumb against a glowing screen far longer than I'd like to and I dream as we all dream of other towns and future stories. Lately though, I've been doing all of my writing at night. It hasn't been the same as writing in the day. Birds aren't chirping, the house is quiet, and the trees don't look like trees as they appear barely noticeable if not for the stream of street light. Despite all of the darkness, I am able to write poems and little pieces of prose that feel like me. I reserve the day for other things, like I used to do at night.

Tomorrow, I can walk to the hillside and from there, I can watch for baby sized dragonflies taking flight above the wheat grass or listen for crickets cooing in their own symphony. I can run home and fill a cup with apple juice or paint a sandwich with raspberry jam. This is freedom. Sometimes, we have to trade time for money in order to live, and other times, pairs who once shared a bed will find themselves sleeping alone again, but for the most part, we can take ourselves to the hillside and find a window with the sunlight pouring through.

I say this because the world can feel barren and broken sometimes. We are looking for the green hillside where our lookout leads to a meadow of people getting along. We wish to sing tiny ballads of joy without sorrow, but in our pursuits, we often forget the good ones only to remember the bad. Moving among the stars, towards the warmth of July and the ever growing garden, take a moment to think of those around you who are kind and thank them.

Now, when the daylight comes, I live and play as I did when I was young. It is summertime on the hillside and by the time a moon is showing, I'll have already filled an entire head with thoughts that soon turn into sentences. Even if nobody ever reads what I write, my short time here is made better for the writing and dissecting of my own inner world.

Outfit details: the kewl shop top, value village boots, oasap skirt
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The dandelions and you

We will pick tomato, kale, and leaf from the ground as the summer air courts the gardeners hands as if those hands belong to a poet. I have little time to write or play music and when I do, my hands are covered in leftover dirt. I try to bend with my knees as I dig and prune plants but other times I bend with my back and I immediately regret it. If I am to spend an entire life in the garden, it would be a mistake not to take care of myself now. These muscles, these nerves, this heartbeat, this belly, they are not yet ready for being sore from years of ignoring their importance.
We will walk into the ravine as the sun shines on our faces and you'll jump at the sight of a wandering wasp. It is true, I have never been stung, so I stand quite still when I see one, which makes me wonder if standing still is the trick or if I'm just lucky. I will crouch near the ground and pick dandelions, always remarking at how much happier I feel when the weather is warm. You will say "how do you survive the long and cold winters?" and I will reply "the love I feel in June is boundless, you don't forget a love like that."

We will return home at the end of the day and although the day was good, we will still complain about how slow sleep comes when the weather is hot. When we can, we drift in and out of sweat, songs and sleep. Tomorrow, today, it all becomes one, and very little in this world of living feels as sweet as summertime and you.

 outfit details: value village hat & scarf tied as hair bow, winners via mum's closet floral shoes
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pollen on my hat & happiness

 I write to you from the porch where flowers are beginning to grow and charms of spices like basil and oregano are filling the air and making the bellies of those who walk past hungrier. I was born to be a gardener - to dig trenches with my hands, to push baby roots into soil, to water, to prune, to frown when the prairie wind becomes too much, to gaze at what grows tall and what withers away. I don't know everything there is to know about what makes a human being happy or what makes them teary eyed, but I do know gardening has been good to me. In the soil, there are short stories. Although, like all living things, they will eventually come to an end, the shortness of time makes them all the more precious.

Since we're on the conversation about happiness, something very exciting came my way last Sunday. I won first place in a songwriting competition — yes, me, Amy, the one who has spent a lifetime wondering where to find life's fruit. It happened for me and no matter how many times I pinch my skin, the reality has yet to show. My heart keeps beating faster than a rabbit's tail and I wander free from care into the morning light. 

If you were looking for a sign to climb that hill which scares you so deeply, take heed. I tried to talk myself out of entering the competition because I didn't think I was good enough. I had myself convinced it was not in me to take such a risk. I could be happy living forever in my own private garden, without ever letting fear torment me, because sometimes it looks easier to hide than to live. The truth is, life's meaning is not found in the prizes, it is found in the trying, in the times we choose not to doubt ourselves, in the planting, and in the living. If every flower came to my garden already bright and in bloom, it wouldn't feel as right. If we never had darkness, how could we long for the light? I am happy today because I did something that scared me, something that I could have easily dismissed because I didn't want to build a home for the butterflies in my belly. Putting yourself on a platter to be judged is not an easy thing to do, but every so often, the effort rings true and you feel better being seen than being hidden.

Take a risk. Climb that hill. This time is yours to spend.

outfit details: chicwish skirt, thrifted blouse, montana tackstore lace up boots
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The blooming countryside

 I think of the countryside not only during times of tired eyes or sadness, I think of it when I am happy too. It is this place in my mind where nothing can go wrong; acres and acres of undeveloped land, vines and lilac bushes racing towards the soft sky, a sea of green wild wonder ahead of my feet. As I get older and closer to considering myself a full fledgling adult, the dream of a countryside home grows sweeter to me. I can see it now — a kitchen window looking onto a patch of raspberries that we pluck like strings and stain our clothes red in the summertime. I see babies fattened with milk as they learn to sit underneath their mother's apple tree. I see goats, I see sheep, I hear meows and smell kettle corn rising on the stovetop. I don't see the green dying when winter comes or the babies getting sick or growing old. In my dreams of a countryside, the air is gentle and nothing but joy in the hazy sunlight can occur.

We all know such a countryside doesn't exist because the world is made up of seasons and the changing of moods. Bad days can follow good days, flowers eventually die off of the tree, babies go to school and then they leave home, empty nests happen, snow happens, birds fall out of the sky and dreams get buried by dirt, but in my brain, there is a blossom shaped like a countryside home where I walk hand in hand with my heartbeat. I can sit here and count on good luck or saving every penny in a lifetime just so I can remove the word imaginary before country home in a sentence, but the truth is, there is something brave in letting a dream be a dream. After all, what makes a bad morning taste less bitter if we don't have our dreams to lean on.

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 We visited this lilac bush on an evening marked by spring weather. We strolled and ran as if we became children again and school was out for the rest of summer. It is my hope that every warm day this year will find me outside either in the garden or underneath a tree. I have no need for a rear view mirror when this is what lies ahead.

outfit details: emily and fin dress, savers in hawaii strawhat
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