A Peony's surrender by Jessica Hunter

It's cold and rainy today. The garden needs it though. I neglected to water my plants last week as wedding season began in full swing. Sim bought some rain barrels to water the garden with so we can conserve energy and reduce our water use. When he renovated our bathroom last year he built in a grey water system. He says I take too many baths so he wants to make sure we get good use out of my moments of luxury. He's right and I appreciate that he thinks of these things. 

Sim built us a front porch this week 

Sim built us a front porch this week 

rain barrels in the walkway

rain barrels in the walkway

I'm tired, in a good post production sort of way. I had a wedding this past weekend. My mom and I spent all last week working away on arrangements, garlands, bouquets and then packing it up to install at the Berkeley Fieldhouse. The couple I was designing for are friends of mine, which always makes the process such a joy to help make their dream come to life. They are such a classy, stylish couple, I mean there was a coffee trailer that had a stamp for the cups saying "forever + always." I can't wait to see images from their day. 

I cleaned the house this morning before my sister and brother-in-law stopped in for coffee. Our nephew played some instruments and chased Rosemary around the house because as he puts it, "she's the nice one, mommy."

It's amazing what a little tidying and organization does for the soul. Post-wedding blues is a thing when you have a home studio. Everything is in disarray when it's over, green buckets of leftover foliage, plant clippings under rugs to be used as a mice by the cats. I put on my morning brew, began the sweeping and threw in a load of laundry. Sundays are my cleaning days. It helps me feel prepared for the coming week and allows me to really rest in the afternoon. 

We had some unexpected news this week. Sim was laid off of his job. This weather seems appropriate. When I woke up today I said it was miserable outside, like the sky was crying. Sim said, "maybe the sky is so happy it's crying? Like you do sometimes." Somehow with this shitty news we know we will be okay. Life is full of moments when we have to surrender and let go. This is one of those times for us. 

When we fool ourselves into certainties that's when we get lost. The older I get the more I am convinced that nothing is certain except for love. I don't mean this in the sense that two lovers will stay together forever, although it's beautiful when this happens and I wish it for all the couples that come my way in the wedding world. Instead, I mean this in the cosmic sense that as humans we continue to love, to give, to sacrifice, to be generous, to hope even when we have been let down by life. I think we do this because there is this larger life force extending continual grace to us, we mirror it in our daily acts of kindness and faith against all odds. We don't love perfectly, but we continue to try. Humans have this incredible ability to push past extreme disappointment, to rise out of unfair and unjust situations and to continue to grow and flourish. 

When Sim told me the news I was chopping vegetables for dinner, feeling the weight of the knife as it sliced through the asparagus. Sure I was a little stunned but I looked over at him and said "I'm so sorry love. We will be okay. We will get through this." I didn't say this to make him feel better, although I'm sure it helped to know that we are in this together. I said it because it's true. We will get through. Just as so many people before us have. 

It was Tuesday when Sim told me, the same day I finished my 30 day challenge. That morning I woke up smiling because of a happy dream I'd had. They are rare as I normally dream of things I'm afraid of or some strange combination of events that doesn't make sense because I ate pickles and cheese too late the night before. But on this day, I received a gift and wrote this: 

I awoke to the happiest dream. It was full of beauty and I wanted to hold it, I reached for it as if it were something I could bottle and save forever. It spoke of contentment, joy, peace, and freedom. When I opened my eyes and stretched my body long I smiled to myself because this gift of love was for no reason at all. It wasn't circumstantial that I felt this way, nothing magnificent had happened. It was just another ordinary day but I was so hopeful in the now. It was that same feeling you have when you wake up in an exotic new place while travelling, or the morning after getting engaged. I knew that this day was my dream. I'm living it. With Sim, in Hamilton, on our little plot of land with our two cats and so many lovely people. My dream is now. It's always been and always will be. My heart felt goodness and I could see the goodness all around me. I am, I am and that is enough. This has been the best gift to awaken to on the last day of my 30 day challenge. 

Does this mean the dream was for nothing? Of course not. If anything it was needed as circumstances had just taken a turn for the worse. Instead it helped position me for the news and I wanted to lean into this little miracle, content with where we are regardless of what's going on around us, all while reaching for what's next at the same time.Will we choose to get anxious, angry, bitter, entitled and spiky with each other or will we let go with ease, breathing, falling into the rhythms of grace? Surrender is an art, it takes years to perfect and so we are choosing to make this time an opportunity to practice it. 

When I walked out into the garden this afternoon the peonies reminded me that letting go has a way of leading to peace. They were shining with the wet dew of rain on their petals, bowing to the earth the way the body does when it moves through a sun salutation. They didn't fight the rain, instead, the heaviness and vitality of the water was the very thing that caused them to open. It's here they were at there best, beautifully undone, soaked in the sweet act of surrender. 

Let it Go (Danna Faulds)

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold:
the holding of plans or dreams or expectations. Let it all go.
Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now will
only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts
to flee from the very energy you long for. Let go.
Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes
through your days whether you received it gently
or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on faith; the mind may never find the
explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward
nonetheless. Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry
you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams
or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of
rest and peace, and certain transformation.

Still water by Jessica Hunter

"We make our minds like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, or perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet." - William Butler Yeates 

this image of the woods looks like a sound wave. I think the earth was making a song that day.

this image of the woods looks like a sound wave. I think the earth was making a song that day.

"Why do you worry about where you are headed? Are you afraid? Does this worry add to your life or change the outcome?" These are the resounding questions that entered my head on day 21 of my 30 day yoga challenge. I think if I'm honest, I am afraid sometimes, that I'm on the wrong path or somehow at a crossroads where there could be a good or better choice.  Of course I want the best for my life. I'm sure you do too. Yet, in creating this quiet, this space for myself where I can listen to my own thoughts and dialogue, I was instantly at ease. Letting go of the uncertainties, fears and worries with my exhales and then taking a deep breath of care, love and oxygen with my inhales. Knowing that this, right here is life. 

Sim enjoying the quiet. He's really good at that. 

Sim enjoying the quiet. He's really good at that. 

It's interesting to see how people respond to a more still and quiet existence amidst the busy rush and race of life. How easy it is for it to become a relay race, passing a baton from one thing to the next, hoping to get closer to an arrival point. No intention, just reaction. This is why we love to finish books or why we beat ourselves up when we don't. This is why we set goals and give ourselves gold stars for achieving them. This is why our entire society is built on merit, climbing an invisible ladder of importance. 

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hiding in the honeysuckle 

hiding in the honeysuckle 

I thought going into the challenge that reaching my 30 day mark would be the point. I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm finding that it's more about thanking myself for carving out time for self-care, making it a priority because we don't know what tomorrow will bring and we certainly can't beat ourselves up about yesterday's shortcomings. I have very high expectations, so this is a huge one for me. 

On the weekend I planned to go to two classes on Saturday morning but I missed my alarm, slept in, still tried to make it to the second class but was a minute late and the doors were locked. I decided to grab a muffin instead and took the time to garden. The next day I had a client meeting booked and got stood up. Instead of feeling pissed that I got out of bed at an ungodly hour on a long-weekend Sunday morning, I took the time as a gift and read a little more of The Rosie Effect. God I'm loving that Graeme Simsion series. 

I love my plans but when they don't work out I can either choose to embrace that new found time as a gift or let it put a kink in my hose all weekend. Not sure what that means. Just seemed to flow off the page. Okay it got weird. 

white star magnolia love

white star magnolia love

I find that when I tell people that I'm taking time for this challenge I get mixed responses. Some people are excited and proud of my choice, others respond with a bit of envious resentment in their tone, relaying a sense that they feel I'm lazy or the opposite, that I'm pushing myself too hard, and in some way they end up pushing their own inability to take time for themselves out on me. I'm learning to recognize what's mine and what's not. How to respond with dignity, grace and respect, without having to prove my choices to anyone, but instead trusting in my own decisions for my life. 

After all, when I die I want to be able to say that I lived my life, not the one expected of me. I want to be okay with my decisions and not feel they were influenced by others but rather out of a deep sense of knowing myself. Isn't this the pilgrimage we are on? 

that day by the beach when I gave my sister letters of love from her friends before her trip 

that day by the beach when I gave my sister letters of love from her friends before her trip 

My sister returned home from her pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago this week. She was beaming with life when she walked through my door. There was this maturity and rootedness about her. She looked like herself. She wasn't playing the role of my sister, or the youngest daughter in the family, she didn't hold back. For that moment she was completely undone, unguarded, honest, true. My eyes welled a bit when I hugged her because we were just two humans, being. It was beautiful and I had missed her company so much. 

magic hour on the lakeshore

magic hour on the lakeshore

gifts from Spain from my sis

gifts from Spain from my sis

I asked her what it was like and she said "tough to describe. There's almost no words." I asked her what her favourite part was and she said, "Oh. So many parts, but if I had to choose, meeting all the travellers. Sometimes you would meet someone and because the opening question was 'why are you on the Camino?" and not 'what do you do?' you would instantly get to know someone, an intimate piece of them that's dear and usually unspoken, sometimes even before knowing their names." She said most people were at a cross roads in life, looking for an answer to an important question or trying to discover more of themselves.

pace yourself

pace yourself

My favourite reflection from her was when she spoke of the importance of walking at your own pace. How listening to your body is vital on your journey. This, at times, meant walking alone, not worrying about keeping up with someone else's pace or lagging behind so the person taking slower steps would feel okay or included, but rather it was about walking at your rhythm and getting to know what that was. Day-to-day it could change. She said that everyone was heading to the same place, Santiago, that there were detours along the way that you could choose to explore and arrive later than the others, but really there was no end time to the journey and even after Santiago, the pilgrimage continues. This image brought me so much ease and hope; I'd like to experience it for myself someday. 

This person that Yeates is talking about, we are all capable of becoming. We are all capable of making room within ourselves so that we are living from a place of abundance and not strife or scarcity. My sister is a very good example of this. She really understands solitude and how to make her mind like still water. It's one of her most lovely qualities.

So take time for yourself. Don't feel guilty or selfish for stopping to breathe, take time alone, an hour of reading in the tub or an evening walk. Learn to rely a little less on someone else's quieter mind for your fierce, glorious and clear-headed life. Instead, embody your own. 

Possess yourself. 

Go at your pace.  

Make your mind like still water. 

 

Poem by Jessica Hunter

"MAY"

What lay on the road was no mere handful of snake. It was the copperhead at last, golden under the street lamp. I hope to see everything in this world before I die. I knelt on the road and stared. Its head was wedge-shaped and fell back in the unexpected slimness of a neck. The body itself was thick, tense, electric. Clearly this wasn’t black snake looking down from the limbs of a tree, or green snake, or the garter, whizzing over the rocks. Where these had, oh, such shyness, this one had none. When I moved a little, it turned and clamped its eyes on mine; then it jerked toward me. I jumped back and watched as it flowed on across the road and down into the dark. My heart was pounding. I stood a while, listening to the small sounds of the woods and looking at the stars. After excitement we are so restful. When the thumb of fear lifts, we are so alive.

-- Mary Oliver
 

Commitment is liberty by Jessica Hunter

moody hellebores. My favourite. 

moody hellebores. My favourite. 

“The irony of commitment is that it is deeply liberating-- in work, play and love. It frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.” 

- Anne Morris

 On Sunday night one of my yoga instructors recited this quote as I was lying on the floor in savasana. It instantly resonated with me. YES! This is why I am taking on the 30 day challenge. I’m craving ritual, discipline and endurance. I desperately want to be rooted. After a long winter of no routine or regiment I found myself in April, wandering and questioning; adrift at sea.

a photoshoot I did with my lovely ginger friend Nabi

a photoshoot I did with my lovely ginger friend Nabi

 We can’t control our circumstances but we can choose what we will do with what we’ve been given. My Nana says, there are three things in life we can’t control: birth, death and the weather. We don’t get to choose the family we are born into or when we will pass and we certainly can’t choose our weather otherwise I would make our climate like that of Southern California so I could grow beautiful flowers all year long. It’s all very precarious.

a rainy day in April when the garden just started to show signs of life

a rainy day in April when the garden just started to show signs of life

I think of Nepal and all the people impacted by the earthquake in April. More than 4,800 people are dead and 9,200 injured. It’s one of the world’s most scenic places and now it’s a panorama of devastation. And yet the commitment of the Hindu people there to those who are dead is astonishing. The Priests take the time, even in panic and devastation, to perform rituals at the cremation ceremony for those who were victims of the disaster. I ponder this. 

this shot was taken at the Pashupatinath Temple on the banks of the Bagmati River in Kathmandu, photographer unknown

this shot was taken at the Pashupatinath Temple on the banks of the Bagmati River in Kathmandu, photographer unknown

It reminds me of this saying: “To have patience in a moment of crisis is a great trial.”

fritillaria imperialis growing in the garden

fritillaria imperialis growing in the garden

inspired by the garden to make this

inspired by the garden to make this

top view 

top view 

The Nepalese priests at this ceremony understood this patience and endurance. It’s something that we must learn to understand - patience with ourselves so we can have patience with others and the uncontrollable circumstances that are an inevitable part of life. Much of April was spent meditating on this. For someone like me, who wants to rush in and fix everything when something goes awry, this has seemed like an impossible feat.

sim sliding down some red rock

sim sliding down some red rock

we went hiking at devil's punch bowl

we went hiking at devil's punch bowl

self portrait taken by Sim

self portrait taken by Sim

 I’ve heard it said before, “commitment is freedom” and I used to hate it. I didn’t think I was the marrying kind or the ‘settle down and have a family’ person. But I fell in love and now here I am. When I fell in love with Sim I was mad about him. I mean, I really did go a bit crazy trying to talk myself out of all the reasons why I shouldn’t be with him. But that “just knowing” sense had been there from the moment I’d met him and five years later, we married. It was our three month engagement anniversary on May the 4th. I always remember because when we got engaged the moon was full and as nerds do we recited in unison: “may the fourth be with you.” It has been ever since. Commitment beckoned me. I own a house and a business, currently working in the wedding industry. In our first year of marriage I remember thinking, “Oh, this is why people have kids, because they love their partner so much that they want to reproduce parts of them.” I feel this now more than ever. I’m not there yet, baby land, but I am surrounding myself with the sweetest newborns these days because my ovaries are screaming.

a behind the scenes shot of a newborn shoot I did the floral styling for

a behind the scenes shot of a newborn shoot I did the floral styling for

I’ll be 29 this year, which means I’ve been able to make a baby for almost 18 years. Crazy. (yes, if you do the math I was 11 when I got my period. Oh joy!). For now I feel that I am to keep focusing on this work baby of mine and helping out with our new home where I can. That doesn’t stop the baby clock from ticking though.

inspired by narcissus 

inspired by narcissus 

the first seasonal arrangement from the garden I made for Helena at In Fine Feather studio

the first seasonal arrangement from the garden I made for Helena at In Fine Feather studio

I think that commitment leads to our personal transformation and that our inner change can lead and does lead to a more vibrant community. If you’d told me this in my teens I would have laughed in your face and bought myself a plane ticket to anywhere. I’m not younger Jess anymore though. I’d like to think I’m a little wiser now but I do still have days when I dream up easier ways of living. But that wouldn’t be me either. I enjoy a good challenge.  

This is ultimately what I want for my life – to be well and to contribute while helping to cultivate a vibrant community, adding more beauty and inspiration to the world through my life.

 

I’ve been working on a ton of editorial shoots lately. I’ll be sure to update the website soon. I keep feeling the need to do a Spring cleaning of the site (and everything else online) but I thought it best to start with our home. So I spent most of last month cleaning ALL THE THINGS. Sim completed our second room upstairs, which means I have two rooms to use on our second floor. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Two whole rooms! An office and a bedroom? Not to mention the functioning bathroom on the same level that I sleep on. It’s amazing what a little deprivation will do for the human spirit. We are indefatigable.

 I even washed the cats yesterday. They were very unimpressed and looked up at me with their scrawny wet faces with eyes that revealed mistrust. It had to be done. When allergy season hits I have a very low tolerance for most things, every waking moment I feel like a sneeze is coming on, my eyes are always watery, slightly swollen and my head a little heavy with fog. I’m a florist allergic to pollen, oh the irony. The website update will be done soon enough though. I’m just waiting on polished images from all the work. I can’t wait to share them with you all.

 Before my enlightened moment on my mat on Sunday I went to a graveyard with my friend Vanessa. She’s one of those friends who you can take to graveyards on a date and doesn’t find it strange. She’s the best kind of human actually, one of my favourites. It’s tree flowering season in southern Ontario. All the trees are blooming. We walked under a massive grandmother magnolia and I felt like I’d sunk myself into a fairy tale. I had the thought, “the dust of the dead is giving this tree its life.” It was comforting somehow, to know that we have meaning even after death. If my remains become the blossoms of a cucumber tree I’d be happy with that.

Naturally, before leaving, we snipped a few branches for my dining room table. I just couldn’t resist the aroma and then suddenly there we were running through a peaceful graveyard with branches in hand trying not to get caught.

 There are worse things in life than pruning trees illegally, I suppose.

 I'm currently reading "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon. It's a book that will make you laugh and cry. I love it. I made a ‘good morning sunshine’ playlist for the month of May. I needed some happy music to fill my days. It’s mainly made up of Trevor Hall, Elephant Revival, Caroline Smith and the new Angus & Julia Stone. It’s become the soundtrack of my life.

I am usually someone who suffers from wanderlust but lately I am content with staying home. My domestic duties seem to act as a firm reminder that the mundane is a luxury in its own way. Not everything can be exotic and foreign. Sometimes what we need is time to roast a chicken on the oven, bake a loaf of bread and sip a glass of pinot grigio in the garden.

I planted my hands deep into the dirt as soon as the frost lifted. I needed to. I felt the urge to be grounded and to hang on. The earth stops for no one. The universe takes what it wants without request. The past month was difficult. My therapist said, “you need to make an appointment with grief.” So I did. I scheduled it in like a meeting with a client. Bereavement is not something this world stops for. It all just keeps on spinning. It doesn’t stop for our worries or loss. We must continue on even in our grief. Making time to process loss and change but not to do so idly. Instead we must plant. Eat. Clean. Work. Sleep. Make love. Repeat. We are alive and this is the business of living. So while the earth is spinning, root yourself. It’s better than being tossed into the abyss with no sense of direction. 

 Today is day 6 of my challenge. I will wake, break bread with my lover, complete a day’s work and then take up my mat. This ordinary routine is my milk and honey, not confinement. I have gratitude for this time to free my mind and live a little more from my heart.

 

Dignity by Jessica Hunter

“Human beings are the only ones in nature who are aware that they will die. For that reason and only for that reason, I have a profound respect for the human race, and I believe that its future is going to be much better than its present. Even knowing that their days are numbered and that everything will end when they least expect it, people make of their lives a battle that is worthy of a being with eternal life. What people regard as vanity-leaving great works, having children, acting in such a way as to prevent one's name from being forgotten- I regard as the highest expression of human dignity.” 
― Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage 

Quote by Jessica Hunter

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

-       John Muir 

Do something that won't Compute by Jessica Hunter

Always do what you are afraid to do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A couple weekends ago I held my first pop-up shop. I was completely terrified out of my wits. Sometimes I wonder how I get to these grand conclusions. I didn’t just have a pop-up shop booked, I was also styling a shoot for a friends album cover and working on a baby shower to ship off to Toronto all in the same weekend. I got this!

 Naturally, I called my Marmy in a puddle of tears saying “I can’t do this. Why am I doing this? I’m so tired. I spent too much money. Money we don’t have. How do people run their own businesses?” All this melodramatic unravelling was happening while boxes of tulips, ranunclulus, narcissus, anemones, and hellebores piled in the kitchen waiting to be cleaned. Rosemary heard me blabbering on, churttled and climbed up on my lap to comfort me. Cats make everything better .

 My mom listened and eventually agreed to come assist me for the weekend. She was the one who was moving all the buckets, cutting paper, prepping tags, all while making sure I ate and drank water. And she did this with a grace that only a mother could. One day I hope I will understand all that she does.

 I think the reason I panicked was because I spent an exuberant amount on cut flowers, all which are a dying inventory. It’s not like I can save them for later. I was scared that no one would show up, that I would be out of pocket, that I would pass out in the middle of working because I had over-extended myself or worse, that my work would be an utter disappointment. Running a business tests every insecurity.

 To do the pop-up in February I had to import flowers. In fact, even with supporting local farmers and growing some of my own flowers during spring, summer and fall, I usually still have to import flowers simply because they are desirable or requested by a client. And as much as I strive to have as little environmental impact as possible with my work, I’m also in the business of beauty and part of my mission is to make the most beautiful things that I possibly can. This means importing (for now). This was the topic of discussion between Whitney and I while we awaited customers. 

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 It’s a conundrum. We can’t grow lush flowers in minus 30 degree weather. We live in Canada and at this point, Ontario grown flowers just aren’t as unique or full as those grown in Holland or Ecuador, but when I’m cleaning flowers and the smell on my hands isn’t the scent of the garden but that of a harsh pesticide, it all feels wrong. I don't mean to sound like I'm on a soapbox, I just want to do what I can. 

Then again some flower farms overseas are fair trade and allow single moms excellent jobs because of onsite daycares, unions that provide healthcare and a vocation where they can be paid well over the minimum wage. This is the case for Nevado Roses. So if we are going to be using imports, which we are because CANADA, then the key is urging our Ontario markets to purchase ethical imports and as a florist I feel responsible to look for labels that I know have stringent standards of sustainability.

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IMG_7318.JPG

My enthusiasm to attain more land to grow crazy unusual floral varieties grows stronger by the day. For now can I use your land? Seriously, send me an email. I want to do more to conserve and care for our landscape. I think we need more beauty in this utilitarian society we’ve created. Like this past weekend, people walked into the shop just to be around the flowers. The man at the gas station said “you have a garden in your back hatch, what do you do?” I said, “I’m a florist setting up shop around the corner on King today because we’re sick of this maddening weather.” He said, “what a lovely sight,” and we went our separate ways.

I have to believe that beauty matters and that these brief exchanges are worth it, but I also have to help reduce how much shit we have in this world and how much of it we could avoid creating, consuming then wasting.

I haven’t figured it out yet. Sometimes I still throw my yogurt containers in the garbage because I am too damn lazy to go outside in the cold and put it in the recycling bin. I want to stop doing this. It’s silliness.

By the end of the weekend I had sold out of all my flowers, and met the most wonderful people. My fears, once again, quenched by the goodness of humanity. Everyone who came out to support me  was so heartfelt . My favourite part was seeing the look on people’s faces when I handed them their personalized bouquet or arrangement designed specifically for them. Everyone seemed to light up.

Image by Jen Anisef of the tied bouquet I made up for above. 

Image by Jen Anisef of the tied bouquet I made up for above. 

Many people mentioned to me how much they enjoy picking up a bundle of flowers so they can go home and plop them in one of their dusty vases.  I loved seeing the pics that people posted of their own mini constructions. 

hellebores is should have its own planet so I can go live there 

hellebores is should have its own planet so I can go live there 

On Friday afternoon a woman named Carly asked me to make her something. She said, “I just want to have something alive at home to remind me that Spring is on its way.” Her voice cracked as I finished adding the last bloom into her arrangement, she gasped and said “I could cry.” My eyes welled up with tears as I turned to hand her the finished piece. I could feel the happiness off of her and suddenly I could make sense of it. I knew that what I was doing meant something. I’ve always known there was magic in flowers, but this past weekend proved it to me.

My goal was to break-even financially. It was going to be tough as I knew that most people may not be ready to pay a high price for premium blooms so I decided to work within people’s budgets but this meant I’d have to sell more flowers, which meant that more people would have to drop in.

 When I was standing over the kitchen sink cleaning flowers the day before the pop-up started, my eyes glossed over while starring at the running water and thought “it’ll be a miracle if I make back what I spent.” And then, within days, I had my miracle.

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 Yes, it sucks to work really hard and at the end of it all only be able to buy a latte with your earnings but having little money means that you have to be resourceful in other areas. You must employ your mind. I really believe that lacking the ability to just "buy a solution” breeds creativity. I must admit that this week I’ve been dreaming up ways to get a part-time job. Mainly so I can have co-workers that aren’t my cats. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. For now I will keep designing, because it's part of me.

Even though this time is trying, I know that I will look back on it with deep appreciation for all those who helped sustain me in the beginning. I can't help but well up with joy when I think of all that happened at the pop-up and all who contributed. I am, so very fortunate. 

I’d like to thank Whitney McMeekin for hosting me at her lovely shop Girl on the Wing. She was the most generous and encouraging host. Ever since I met Whitney she’s been cheering me on, giving me little pick-me-ups along the way. She’s one of the most genuine people I’ve met in this city with such a great eye for fashion and a deep desire to see her community thrive. She’s not just in her business for herself. It’s more than that and she holds an irreplaceable spot in Hamilton. To keep up with her and all her shop news follow her on instagram, twitter and facebook.

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 I’d also like to thank Christopher Godwaldt from Café Oranje for allowing me to set-up shop for a third day on Sunday at the café. I wouldn't have made costs if it wasn't for the spontaneous kindness from Chris. We decided to do an impromptu Dutch coffee and flower shop with my leftovers to ring in March with a boom. The response from people was fantastic and I got to drink the most delicious coffee while creating. It was one of the highlights from the weekend. The best part is that this café is my local joint. It’s where I walk to get a good brew and work long arduous admin hours. Having a physical space to work within my neighbourhood was such a gift. To follow along with Café Oranje check out their: Instagram, twitter, and facebook.

I did what I was afraid to do, it didn't compute but I can hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. 

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

- Wendell Berry