A road trip to Banff

 On Monday, I planned a picnic with my mum and headed out towards the rocky poems that grow far above us. It is one of the only places I have traveled to where the road itself is beautiful and never feels too long. Whenever I am down on my luck or bored of the city, I know I can count on these roads to jump start my heart again. That's why when asked me to share my favorite places along the way to Banff, Alberta, Canada, I did not hesitate!


Ghost Lake Reservoir
This is a nice little spot right off of highway 1A. If you're driving from Calgary, you can make this the first stop of your day trip or spend the night camping across the road. Here, you can take to fishing or watch sailboats float on by. If you look out as far as the eye can see, you could convince yourself it was ocean water. The waves roll in and out which makes it a perfect place for boating or letting your hair sway in the breeze.

Grotto Creek Trail
Grotto Creek is one of my favorite places to stretch my legs and set out a picnic. I've been here in every season and it's always been pleasant. This time, the weather was golden and summery so everybody could bare their legs and let the mountain air make them feel like life was a magical thing not to be taken for granted. There were people in canoes and others were standing by the water with fishing pole in hand. It is a perfect place for a picnic or a hike through Grotto Creek Trail.

Moose Meadows
To get to Moose Meadows, you have to follow the Bow Valley Parkway. It is a scenic drive that rolls and winds through dense forests and colorful wildflowers. You can stop in at Johnston's canyon and visit the waterfalls or grab a bite to eat in the restaurant. However, Johnston's canyon can get quite busy in the peak seasons (July, August) so if you're looking to escape the crowd, drive a little ways past and you'll find Moose Meadows where beauty is abound. I could have stayed here all day and listened to the quiet whispering of my happy heart.

Lake Minnewanka 
 If you visit here often, you might already know of my love for Lake Minnewanka. In fact, I have written of it and taken photographs by the water many times. I come here to see the lake sparkle against the sun and breathe the lodge pole pine air. There are chipmunks that could make even the grumpiest of men smile and mountain sheep who meander by. I certainly don't know all there is to know about living, but I do know Lake Minnewanka knows something about the way we spend our lives. If you're looking to slow down time, here is a place for you.

Happy travels!

outfit details: chicwish dress, montana tackstore lace up boots

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.


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

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