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Monday 15 May 2023

Fieldwork 2: Emotional Breakthrough.

Last week, I headed out for pictures. I was prepared with good quality tick repellant (it's bad out there), water, snacks, and two fully charged cameras. My youngest was in school. The dog was fed. (I was heading to conservation areas that don't allow off leash dogs.) It was early enough for me to beat the heat.

We've still had no rain and for early May, it has been HOT. I wondered if there would be much to see. I contemplated a place I KNEW had blooms, but at the last minute, I headed the opposite way and drove to Cranberry Flats. As I headed out of the parking lot and down one of the walking paths, I was second guessing myself pretty quickly. It was SO dry. The negative self talk started...

Come on Monika. What am I doing here? I knew better. There's nothing to see here. Nothing is blooming. I can't believe I did this.  (Bad enough that I had negative self talk, but WORSE that I would fall for that, 'nothing to see here' crap.)

I spied some faded crocuses. I knew they were going to be there. I knew they'd be at the end of their blooming phase. They had hardly any colour left. Where was everything else? We need rain.

I took some pictures of last year's sage, last year's roses, last year's juniper... What about this year?

Rolling my eyes at myself, I decided to walk back to the parking lot and head to another location on the other side of the city. Just then, I saw them. It must have been the direction the light was hitting the land, but all of a sudden I noticed a sprinkling of white. And JUST LIKE THAT more and more appeared, as if a veil had lifted and it was suddenly being revealed to me. AH IT WAS MAGNIFICENT! Moss phlox was all over this little hill top! It was just so tiny that I must have missed it the first time I passed it.

I mean, OF COURSE the prairie was alive. I just wasn't looking close enough.

Moss Phlox (white), Threaded Sedge (yellow)

As I knelt down to take pictures, I noticed other plants.

And more,

And more still.

Eventually I stood up. I felt like a Giant, surveying a microscopic-scale ancient forest. I can't explain it better than that. And I began to cry.

I cried for how beautiful this all is. I cried for how potentially powerful we are. I cried for how truly ignorant we are. I cried for how much gratitude I have for this opportunity.

I'll let you in on this: It's becoming clearer how I would like to translate this information and beauty into a body of artwork. I have not yet began artworks. Back at home I'm reading and writing and organizing and learning. I'm enjoying contemplating science/ecosystems with art/storytelling. It's all so amazing!

Thank you again to the Canada Council for bringing the Arts to Life!

: ) Monika Kinner


Lin said...

Such a lot going on down there at ground level that it is easy to miss. I't like walking through a city and not looking up!

Monika Kinner-Whalen (MySweetPrairie) said...


Anonymous said...

The prairie is abundant ❤️ I'm looking forward to the way you translate your insights into art ❤️

Anonymous said...

It's me, Tamara 😊

Monika Kinner-Whalen (MySweetPrairie) said...

:) Thank you for reading! I started a few posts ago xo

Threadpainter said...

Hurray for everything in your life right now ! I'll get back to reading your blog !

Michelle V. Alkerton said...

Thank you for sharing.

Stay inspired!

Bernie Cruikshank said...

In even the ugliness of November I challenge myself to find colour. There is always something interesting to see if we look.

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