squirrels and dandelions

The weeks have been filled with plans. A dandelion blooms on every street, flowers thirsty for sunlight bend towards the sky, my size seven feet are glad to be free from wool socks, my winter made skin is pale but ready to be freckled and warmed by May weather. I wander to a field with my banjo, I feel lonely as only one can feel when they are alone in a field and everybody else is a stranger. The trees cast shadows and I look to them for company as I sit down in the tall grass. This is who I am a girl who needs solitude as much as she needs spoons for stirring and lungs for calling a loved one home. Surely, it is in these moments of wondering whether I am lonely or simply alone that I realize how much I need to be wandering freely on my own, how I thirst for such an occasion. If I am to have ears for listening to my friends and happiness within each tooth as I grin, I need to keep and hold onto quiet moments where it's only me.

Lately, life is full to the brim with places to be, dresses to wear, stories to catch in our nets, and desired moods to be in. I love the world for all of its wilderness and unknowing of tomorrows but constantly running through time as I have been is not where I live best. I need to slooowww down. I need quiet fields where the only conversation to be had is the one between a round banjo and my brain. I need to drift through a day with stillness and water the plants not only for their health but for my own too. I need to say "I love you, but today I am visiting with myself."

In the distance, there is tomorrow, and tomorrow has moods and uncertainty, but today there is a field where my banjo can sit like a newborn in my lap, ready to be sung to and held close to my beating heart. When there are banjos and skirts with squirrels drinking coffee, how bad could life be? 

The necklace I'm wearing is from happiness boutique, an online boutique stocked with flowery accessories and pretty-on-the-eyes kind of clothing. They offer free international shipping (yippy!) and a rewards program. I don't often wear jewelry but when I do, it better be sweet like this!

  The Outfit
Blouse & Boots & Hat Value Village
Skirt – Chicwish
Necklace Happiness Boutique
The Location
Ravine behind my house


birds and dandelions

 “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.” ― John Muir

I live for the way I feel when I am underneath the trees. I could go on forever, as I often do, about the woods and mountains and kindling of skylight in the early afternoon. I could tell you how narrow a sleep is after a day of staying inside and how deep a sleep is after visiting the forest. I could stomp, sing and shout about the sticky springtime dandelion and how I see it as the first blossom of the year.

We went to Griffith Woods to take these photographs. I had hoped the bird covered shirt would invite birds to sit high on the treetops and look down over us. I was feeling blue for days leading to these moments, not for any reason I could name, mostly just because I am Amy, I was born in December, and I always carry a little bit of that winter shade of grey inside of my heart. It is the shade I've come to know which compels me to write, to sing with the belly, and to listen for songs by birds and other worldly things. I came to Griffith Woods, not only to take these photographs, but to remind myself that there is a bright kindling of afternoon skylight within me too.

 It is so easy when we are blue to forget how trees appear after the storms of winter, some lose their branches, some become firewood, but many become postcards and reasons to smile as they bloom with new flowers and call upon the bumble bees for sweetly combed nectar. I look upwards to the trees, even the ones which have prickly ends and pine cones, I think of how the weight of a heavy snowfall never caused them to break down and give up on growing. If only I could find in myself the same spirit — the liveliness inside of my two season heart, whether winter or skin warmed by the sun, I want to never give up on the growing and the learning and the loving of life.

Two of my dear friends just welcomed a baby girl into the world. I've yet to meet her but I imagine her cheeks to be rosy and her hands to be tiny like a little chickadee hatching from the nest, she is probably sleeping in a soft blanket somewhere and bringing a toothsome smile to everybody who sees her. She will grow, just like I have done, and there will be mountains to climb and sands to sleep softly in, there will be enough tears to fill waterbeds and bouts of laughter till the belly aches, but most of all, there will be birds, trees to stand below, and life. There will be life. 

Messy, wonderful, sunrise to sunset, as the round earth rolls, life.

The Outfit
Blouse – Cichic *
Skirt – Oasap *
Flower Headband Crown and Glory
Boots Thrifted at Value Village
The Location
Griffith Woods


What the banjo player wore

As a banjo player, there is an expectation that you'll be found wearing overall straps, sleeping in the tall grass with a breath full of moonshine and growing a beard wide as the roses on a summertime plant. Truth be known, many banjo players are gentle and sweet like a drop of sugarcane in a cup of coffee. You may find them to be strange, why they chose an instrument that draws comparisons to rolling thunder, why do they carry a moon-shaped case that encourages stares and questions, why not settle in and play the beloved guitar? There are different reasons for every player as to why we let our bedrooms be filled with banjo air, but for many, the reason we play is because we hear the banjo calling and it sounds a lot like home.

I look at my banjo as it stands by a painting of flowers, a table of pine cones, and three dusty unfinished bottles of bourbon (no moonshine as some would have you believe). To me, this banjo is the most beautiful thing in the room. I can pick it up and press it against my belly like a symphony of song birds inside of a womb — how brave, how sweet, how delicate, how naked this banjo reveals me to be. I could travel to the saddest forest with a fine tooth comb for an eye, as long as my banjo came to be played, I would know where to look for seeds and flowers sprouting from the earth. This banjo is the cathedral in which I visit to find myself again, and again, and again. Give me callouses and aching fingers, take away summer and soft fruit, but never take away my banjo.

Here I am clothed in my own banjo picker's outfit. The overall dress was a gift from The Wanderly, a handmade & vintage goods boutique based in Montreal. A dress like this one lets me know I'm on my way to a wardrobe that is both pretty and ready to answer the banjo's call.

The Outfit
Overall Dress The Wanderly*
Hat Gift
Blouse & Boots The Bay
The Location
Griffith Woods