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

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.

 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

my life in photographs

The gladdest things in the jam room & a knack for gathering.

After the long and quiet hours of winter, the garden season is finally upon us. I have already begun to gather plants and blooms so the backyard can be our own little slice of growing poetry.

Early mornings in the mountains are bittersweet. Sweet because the air sings to you like a song about being alive. Bitter because you know this is only a break from routine and soon you'll be back to your own little world of sunlight and shadow. The truth is, my life is bountiful, but I have always wanted to live with the mountains in my view or the sea at my feet. I am happy, but I am happiest when my hair smells like pine trees.

A handful of flowers always makes my troubles easier to bear.
Welcome to the family - a newly acquired vintage electric.

 The spring air sent an invitation to my feet and now all I do and dream of is sitting in the tall grass with a banjo in my arms. Let me live here where boredom is only a passing cloud, where the bumblebees and birds sing louder than rolling wheels, where I think not of tomorrow, only of today.

 I would pawn the midday sun to have lilac blooms always within arms reach.

It is my happiest season - the one where grass is growing wild while the bees hover and gather by the most fragrant flowers. All I want to do is dig trenches and watch nature come alive as it always does during springtime. 

Are you planting your garden? What will you plant or gather this year? Tell me about your life lately. I'll be seeing you soon.


sowing in the garden

Here I am - fighting and fussing through my days with a head cold instead of sowing in the garden. I want to be well enough to pick which flowers will be planted this spring, but life has a way of throwing rocks at windows when all you wanted was rain. I have been in my cocoon called a bedroom where the only flowers here are sitting on a dress or hanging in all of their dried and delicate glory. I watch the pollen float through a crack of light in my bedroom window. I sneeze like the whole world is going to hear me. I wonder how I could ever complain about the taste of my supper during the times when my body felt right.

These photographs were taken a week ago, when I felt better, and the garden center was packed with people who had escaped winter and found in themselves a desire to buzz around like bees and set their senses alight by the flowers. I let my joy be sparked by the look on a woman's face when she reaches for her favorite snapdragon plant or a child who grabs a petunia and says "mammy, can we haf this one?" I remember all of the times I saw my mother's hand reach for pots to add to the garden and how it made her seem like she was wearing hearts for eyes. Out of every memory made in my lifetime, the ones where she is there and we're garden bound appear fairest in my mind.

I long to return with her so we can make the backyard come alive with our own little poems, but first, it's a box of tissues and the foghorn sound of my throat begging to return to singing and feeling well again.

outfit details: Modcloth dress, Value Village / thrifted hat & shoes