Here are my dear friend Sarah's dance pictures which I willingly offered to take for her about two weeks ago! We took the pictures on a hill that offers both city views and grassy plots. People might have been staring at the teenager with a camera around her neck snapping photos of a girl in a leotard, but it was lots of fun.
Us four girls spent a night away from town in a ramshackle cottage that seemed to have come straight out of a fairytale. We speared marshmallows and burnt them to charred perfection, played Scattegories until we couldn't think straight and enjoyed the pleasant company of each other. Come morning, we tiptoed to the rickety wharf, where our toes skimmed the water and the fog hung over our heads like a blanket. The car ride back to the city was quiet and drowsy. We hugged our goodbyes and promised to do it again.
For many people, the word 'summer' is tan skin, beach boys, bikinis, staying out late, getting in trouble and wearing short shorts. But I think that 'summer' is the turning of book pages; the dribble of peach juice down my chin; the taste of sweet corn; the freedom to be who I truly am; the sound of a plane as it lands on unfamiliar soil; the fizzle and bang of sparklers; the scratch of pen against paper; unleashing my mind to the sights and sounds; the dusky light as I lean against the porch railing with my camera around my neck. Summer is abstract and physical at the same time; it is a harmony of moments and thoughts. If summer isn't the time to take down the walls and be the person behind the mask, then what is?
Sometimes all you need to feel peace is a tent in the backyard, a mug of tea, a slice of toast, fuzzy socks or an open window. It's wonderful to sit back and enjoy life; to enjoy the simple things. This week I've had time to reflect on small things that make me content, like the yummy aroma of the house after you take a tray of cookies out of the oven, or finishing a book that leaves you breathless. In the rushing, bustling and busy world that we inherit nowadays, so many people forget that alone time is a privilege. Alone time is precious for contemplation and internal happiness. We all need to enjoy simplicity.
After a strenuous day of hustling and bustling, I felt blissfully relieved to be alone in the backyard of our Ontario rental home with just my thoughts, my pen and good book. There was no need for my iPod and headphones under the solitude of dusk, for the harmony of sweet bird trills, gentle dog barks and low owl hoots were almost like music itself. From the first moment I spent walking on Ontario soil that week, I soaked up all of the sun and warmth that I possibly could. Sun-kissed freckles presented themselves on my shoulders, and my nose turned pink from the dazzling afternoons.
My heart was expansive and pleasantly full from the day's events. I sent silent thanks for various things. For organic peanut butter drizzled over oats with freshly sliced fruit and various nuts or seeds. For local roadside stands that advertise their variety of cherries, apricots and plums on bright homemade signs. For half-sisters that let me meddle with their baking and cooking attempts. For cousins who will discuss anything from flavours of chips to cleaning bathrooms. For crushed avocado on warm whole wheat bread. For family reunions that cheer me up on the inside. For friends that I haven't seen in years. For grandparents who will never let me go hungry. For early morning runs, when it's just the dawn-lit streets and the echo of my footfalls. For good music that never disappoints. For flowing sundresses that suit my frame and twirl around my legs. For evening sunsets.
It feels wonderful to be thankful.