When I was younger, I would look at butterflies and wonder why everybody shooed them from the light bulbs in our kitchen. At the time, I did not know that these floating butterflies circling the light were actually moths. I thought they were the same creature, both had working wings, only some looked like tree branches and others looked like painted silk.

 As I grew older, I learned to believe that moths were cursed and butterflies were floating flowers. It made sense at first because we're constantly being told that ugly things are synonymous with bad things. How could we love something that is not bright, colorful or attached to a beautiful coat?

I wish somebody had told me sooner that moths aren't just ugly twigs who take flight in the darkest hours, but that each moth is a night-time butterfly. They live to pollinate and give breath to our earthbound flowers and in turn, a breathing flower gives life to us.  

Now I am not going to succeed in saving every moth I encounter, especially not the uninvited bedroom ceiling ones, but I will always remember what I have learned from them: Whether you are a goat, a guppy, or the wild oak tree - you belong here. Even things with pale wings are here for a reason.*
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Autumn Rabbit

The flowers have been replaced by leaves. Red and gold colors exist where the green used to grow and every hill looks like a living poem. At first I was angry because I did not want to say goodbye to the warmth that summer brings. I wanted to rest in a year long hammock, where petunias burst into bloom and I never have to feel a shiver, but life is a constant lesson just dressed in different seasons.

If not for the death of fruit trees and the arrival of chilly autumn mornings, I would never know the beauty of chopped wood in a fireplace or hot cocoa on my tongue. I know there will be days where I curse the frost on my thumbs and dread leaving a warm bath, but at least autumn is beautiful to look at.

There is something about the cold air that makes me want to play my banjo. I always enjoy pulling the strings but warm air makes them sticky and I am much lazier underneath the sun. With the arrival of autumn comes the desire for me to be more creative and productive. I want to devote the colder months to discovering all of the sounds my banjo can make. Maybe then, I will emerge like a bear in the spring, with two hands that play banjo the way I've heard it in my dreams.

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Lake Minnewanka

A visit to Banff isn't complete unless you breathe in the Lodgepole pine and hear freshwater splashing against the rocks of Lake Minnewanka. Only 15 minutes from the town site of Banff, a moment spent by the lake makes one feel as tall as the mountains and as wild as the wood thrush's song.

Squirrels hurry about, climbing trees to ring bell towers and leafy plants are growing everywhere, even through little cracks in the rock. If you put your palm to the water you can feel the grip of a snowdrift, which means it is far too cold for swimming or dipping your feet in. Sometimes the most beautiful of lakes are the ones you cannot touch. When they are this close to the mountains, all you can do is look out and try to discover if it is the lake's heartbeat you hear or your own.

A long time ago, long before Canada was a country, the shores of Lake Minnewanka or "Lake of the Water Spirits" was a home for the earliest peoples of North America. Spearheads and tools made of materials from the forest were once used to give life here, now they are history books sitting in museum displays. To think that a tool made by living breathing hands has lasted longer than the hands that made it is incredible. 

When I am long gone and my house is at the bottom of a lake, what will the archeologists of the future discover? Will it be my banjo that washes ashore? Will they put it in a museum display next to the spearheads they found at Lake Minnewanka? Will they call it history?

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