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a dream of swimming in the sea

 I don't remember the first time I went swimming in the sea. I was young and unaware of the hold sea waves could have on me. When my mother and father brought me to the sand, they knew only of how the sea made them feel. How could they be certain that every day after, I would spend my quiet hours looking for its symphony in seashells, postcards and moon colored dreams.

I belong to the sea the way a bee belongs to the flower, it is necessary if I am to find food and peace in my life. In the spirit of recognizing what makes life better, I dream of the sea. I dream of the sea not because it is pretty or safe, I dream of it because it is bold, wild, frightening, and yet no matter how strange or terrified swimming in the grasp of a wave can make me feel, I go on swimming and dreaming of it anyhow. Sometimes, I'll wonder if I was made for this world, but then the sea calls me and I'll know I belong somewhere.
I wish to live beside the sea, to walk my dog across the sands, to bring my children to it when they are young and unaware like I once was. I wish to wear my swimming suit and run freely into the place that feels like home to me - to feel the saltwater sugar on my skin. Today, I may live on the prairies, but I'll never stop listening for the roar of the sea.

outfit details: lime ricki swimming suit

It is springtime, hallelujah

The birds are circling in the bluest sky above us, they know what is happening to the trees and the dirt. It is springtime, hallelujah, and all I can hope to do is spend my waking hours being nestled by the sun. As you know, if you often read these posts, I turn into a child the day before summer vacation when the first sign of spring occurs. I run into the grass like an entire graveyard full of the dead suddenly came back to life and returned to their homes where loved ones were missing them. I know it can't always be springtime, so I welcome it with an embrace so warm, even the truest of love would blush.

I don't want to work unless I'm in the garden. I don't want to sit where four walls keep me from the sun. I don't want to travel by train to summer — I want to take my time. This is it. This is the season where time's cruel ability to take things away goes unnoticed because we're too busy being alive with the bees. 

It is springtime warm air, rosy glow, birds are singing, digging trenches for the seeds, life has begun again, springtime. Hallelujah.

 outfit details: Chicwish dress, oasap shoes, thrifted sunhat & scarf

Banff, Alberta, Canada

When I rise in the mountains, I turn from wallflower to wildflower, from opaque cloud to sunbeam shower, from a jar of jam that's almost gone to the sound of a strawberry jam lid when it's opened. I become less empty, more enhanced. Less cotton, more skin. Less I wish, more I am. It is here where I rise like a mountain myself until only the wind and pine groves remain.

How brave, how heavenly, as the pin-shaped leaves blow across Lake Minnewanka. I could have stayed in town and listened to the footsteps, instead I rolled to where the sun brews the most forgiving air. Nobody else was around at first, just my mum and I. We stood at the jagged edge and heard the wings of birds in the blue sky above us. We kept our distance as a herd of big horn sheep meandered by.  It was all too pleasant with the mountains as our backdrop until a school bus of loud tourists pulled in. I came to the mountains to run from the noise, and here I was, suddenly surrounded by the kind of people who feed wild animals and yell when they should whisper. I looked at them with scowling eyes, but nothing in me could stop them from startling the sheep and putting shadows where sunshine ought to be. How is it that even in the most forgiving parts of the world, all it takes is one selfish person to shrink the mountain's size? 

They eventually left and we were once again humming in mountain time. We stayed for three days, two nights, ate as much as we laughed, and found in ourselves an endless desire to return again. That is what they do to you, like a reaching grasp from a loved one's hand, these mountains are my home.

 outfit details: Free People sweater, skirt & socks, Montana lace up boots

early april

The month of April is here and the Chinook winds stomp their way through the city, causing our hair to look wild and our braids to fall from their knot. I will always care for the warm air as it invites birds to return home and gardeners to start plotting their gardens, but sometimes it can be stubborn like a tree stump as it breaks the fence and keeps me from being able to run outside without my own hair whipping me in the face. I know spring is here because the sky is bluer and tiny electric buds are beginning to show on the May trees. I can survive the wind because it reminds me of the day before a big date  — sometimes, anticipation of the day after makes our present time seem warm and fuzzy. Soon, spring will bring bright blossoms and soft glows to the cheeks of winter denizens.

Come Thursday, I'll be heading out to the mountains for three days. Every hour leading up to a visit in the mountains feels like a full day. I am building the butterflies in my belly by dreaming of waking up to the quietness of a mountaintop. If only I could always belong to the mountains, I would sing my songs by bird chatter instead of city buses.

See you soon!

 outfit details: Boutique Onze dress, Value Village blouse, Free People boots

reasons to play an instrument

 Music is to the ears what food is to the belly. Without the songs and their singers, who would I be? I struggle to even find an image in my head of a life without the instruments that line the hallway leading me home. It is here, in these strings, where I found my own reasons to love and live in this world of sun and shadow. In this banjo, there is a mountaintop. In this guitar, there is a garden. I could have lived an entire life without ever knowing how an instrument would sound when it met my hands, but now I know, and music has given me more reasons to celebrate than a prairie spring's homecoming.

It's never too late to become a music-maker, so I've decided to comprise a list for any of you who are looking for a reason to pick up an instrument and play. Let me know your reasons in the comments!

Reasons to play an instrument:
  • It brings you happiness.
  • Music is a field guide for navigating through life's deepest trenches. You can play your way through a bad mood or an aching heart.
  • It is a healthy coping mechanism.
  • You rarely live with boredom when you have an instrument to play.
  • In the land of music-making, time is never wasted because you're always on your way somewhere.
  • Your instrument can be your built in best friend. The chords will be with you at your worst, they will listen to you, they will calm you down and lift your sights to the sky when you need it most.
  • You can bring your instrument to parties or gatherings and entertain friends.
  • Your 'Fear Of Missing Out' dies on the vine whenever you decide to make music. If I had to say no to an event due to illness or other reasons, I can always pick up my banjo or guitar and watch the feeling of guilt wash away.
  • You'll make new friends by attending open mics and shows. There is something special about meeting other music-makers. Even if you have nothing else in common, music can be your bond and many life-long friendships are born this way.
  • Music does not discriminate. Whoever you are, wherever you may be, there is an instrument just waiting to be played by you.
  • Music is both a science and an art. This means you're truly exercising your brain while making the world a better place for you to live in. Playing can improve your memory, your coordination, and your ability to solve problems.
  • It is easier than it looks. Yes, it requires patience and you'll end up with blisters, but when you learn your first chord, soon after, you'll learn your second chord, then you'll go onto your third, and suddenly you'll have a song to play. I often hear people say "you're so lucky to play an instrument, I wish I did, I just never had the time." or "I own a guitar but I'd need lessons." Stop it. Being able to play will not happen overnight, very few things in life worth having arrive within one stretch of sunrise, but life is far too short to keep yourself from something you may love.
  • Music gives you a reason to wake up in the morning. I have had sad days where I rise after a night of sleep and all I want to do is stay in bed. I keep my banjo near my bedside and every time I see it, I feel like a big sunbeam just kissed my face.
Happy music-making!