Emanate Joy — Baby Bears and Birch Trees

As we make our way into the snowy months of winter, I find myself missing the warmth of summer that, as always, few by way too fast.

While my summer was busy out here on our farm, it was well balanced. Some weekends were spent working feverishly at freelance projects and art shows, some were just chill weekends at home filled with daily chores, catching up on sleep, playing with our pup and peacefully working away at some paintings.

I was also lucky enough to take a full week of summer vacation! If my memory serves me correctly, this was my first summer vacation since I was in grade 1!!

Myself, my partner Josh, and our good friend Shane, took a trip out to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta.

The trip was spectacular in so many ways. The views, the laughs, the meaningful conversations and moments.

And yet, the whole time I was out there I just couldn’t help but feel grateful for my home. Here. In Manitoba.

It was an odd feeling, but I will try to explain.

While we were away we went on two hikes. Both of which were around 4-5 hours I believe, and full of nothing but nature and beauty.

Side note: our tour guide was Shane’s Grandpa who was over 80 years old. He kicked our butts and was one of my favourite parts of the trip! An inspiration to say the least.

Each of these hikes had spectacular views. The types of views you see in post cards, magazines and nowadays, Instagram. They were mind blowing. Beautiful. And brought me a lot of joy.

During the last hike we went on, as we were coming down the mountain we decided to take an alternate route. One that was “off the beaten path”, a recommendation from our experienced guide.

It took us into a wooded area along a creek, and near the end we came into a grassy meadow littered with flowers.

All of a sudden, my heart opened up and chills came over my body.

I felt a connection. A spark.

It reminded me of home.

I realized in that moment I had a deeper connection, a greater emotional response, to that simple meadow among the trees than I did to those grand, glorious mountains.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed our entire hike. I enjoyed the different windy trails, up and down, the scary rocky ledges, rushing water, trees, rocks and hills, and of course the reward of the view from the top. It was stunning. I will remember it forever. And I will definitely be taking more trips like this, exploring all the amazing places of Canada, and hopefully the world.

But, it is apparent that the mountains are not my home. They are not where I am intended to plant my roots.

I know I am meant to explore. To see the world. But I also know I must always return home.

Home being the prairies and valleys, meadows and bush land of little old Manitoba.

If I had listened to logic , instead of my heart, when I experienced that spark of energy in the meadow, I would have brushed it off and told myself, “But this doesn’t even compare to the view from the top of the mountain.”

But instead I listened to my intuition. I listened to my gut, and my body.

It was telling me loud and clear, “THIS is magical. This is for you.”

May this be a reminder to stay in the present. To be open to subtle queues your body will give you, sharing what is true for you, and what direction you should take. Even if it goes against logic, or the opinions of everybody else. Only YOU know what is true, light and magical for YOU.

My piece this week is one that I created (a while back) to commemorate our beautiful trip out west! It’s called Baby Bears and Birch Trees. (Funny that I felt called to paint bears in the trees, rather than the views of the mountain tops. ;))

Baby Bears and Birch Trees

See if you can spot the little butterfly in this piece teasing the playful baby bear!

Hope your day is as playful and adventurous as that of a new baby bear curiously exploring the magic that our earth has to offer.



As a side note, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this picture is based off of two photographs taken of one single bear cub we saw on our trip. We watched this baby bear play in the trees for quite a while and we were sure to take several pictures.

Once I was back home and started sketching out this piece, I was stuck between two pictures of the bear, so I asked my partner, Josh, which picture he preferred, and he said, “Why don’t you draw both?!”

So thank you Josh. This piece wouldn’t be the same without you. 😉


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