Little bird of blue

The rays of sun beamed down from the sky laying a thick layer of warmness on the Earth’s surface. The dark yellow school bus happily chugged along the valley’s floor and up the hill to drop off the captives for their usual morning classes. Steeping briskly, as I do, I made my way to room two where I took a seat on the chilled plastic chair that I was expected to stick to like glue. My heavy books were plopped on the table as a sigh of reality takes hold of my lungs. The confining walls lined with large glass sheets let my eyes wander the landscape. The mountains breathe deep breaths of fresh air, I see their lungs fill nature and freshness. The trees sway as the mountains exhale long and slow. The room that I sit in is atop a tall hill that oversees a field. I look down upon the land that lays many feet below, just observing. Until suddenly a small scrub jay painted in blue and black leaps off of the chipped greed roof. My first thought was that his small wings and small body would plummet down to the field below. Instead, he gracefully soared through the open air. He seemed weightless and unbelievably free. I wish with all of my mind and body that I could be that scrub jay. I wish that I could weightlessly jump off of buildings and without a care float through the sky. Instead, I sit heavy and flightless.

Found on flyinglesson.us

sealed with wax

When your heart breaks

Is it like melting wax

dripping and oozing concealing the facts

then stamped by a whoever your breaker may be

hardening in place

the stamp easy to see

the next person to come along

sees that the wax is not very strong

how easily the wax could crack

with a simple are you okay

could take you all the way back

the facts concealed in the wax tight letter

spill out in hopes that it will get better

your feelings are expressed

and all it did was add stress

suddenly the thin layer of wax holding you together is broken

and you wish the feelings in the letter had gone unspoken

but spoken they were

and now your life is back into its vulnerable blur

you must reheat the wax

reconceal the facts

and start a new

in hopes that the next person will be kind to you

another idea that you have is to discard your letter

there is no point in trying to get better

the feelings are shoved into a drawer

the stamp never broken never torn

later in life

when heartbreak comes back

remember that you must over come

the cracking and oozing glum

Image found on: https://www.stampsdirect.co.uk/

Winter

blown from the north

bringing the christmas spirit forth

it is upon us

from bikinis and heat

the season of winter

Brings about jackets and frozen feet

brushed with titanium white

The mountains are a glorious sight

rabbits, bears and coyotes alike

snuggled up somewhere warm

waiting out the winter storm

As the first frost licks the grass

and the long summer nights pass

the lakes freeze in place

The fish frozen with the same face

Dulled knives glide over the ice

the skates glide and slice

A beautiful season full of thrills and chills

Credit:Pinterest

Dreams

Everyone has dreams of what they want their future to look like. I am currently a senior in high school and I am getting ready for college. My dream school is Montana State University in Bozeman. It is just 1 1/2 hours away from Yellowstone and just 2 hours away from Grand Teton Nationalpark which is a dream place for me and my photography. But before I go to college I will take a Gap year. I had always planned to take a gap year after high school to just have one year of not studying and doing what I want.

My Gap Year will revolve all around my photography. I am am planning to travel to my favorite place in the world, the Masai Mara in Africa for 2 months. I will work with rangers to help prevent poaching as well as spreading the word of wildlife conservation. On the other hand I will work with vets to learn more about the wildlife in Africa. I am also planning to travel to a place that I always wanted to go, Uganda in Africa. I am planning to spend about 4 weeks there to spend time with one of the most incredible species out there. The silver back gorillas.

I have always been fascinated with gorillas. The way they communicate with each other is incredible. I am hoping to further my understanding of these incredible animals and also help protect them as they are on the verge of extinction.

I am excited for my Gap year, as I will do what I love most. I am hoping to have an impact with my photography and spread the word of wildlife conservation further around the globe.

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In Person, Finally

School is back in session and I couldn’t be more excited.

Online school was an interesting experience, but I would not do it again. It was hard and it did not have the same feeling as in-person learning.

Although it has been two days of in person learning, I have enjoyed it much more than online. I have been able to connect with my friends and teachers, which is much easier to do in person.

Sports are also starting up, which is also another way to connect with new people and make long lasting memories. There are many more opportunities to do outdoor activities, and eventually go into town.

Photo Credit: OVS

Another upside to doing in person school is that I am able to visit home. Since people are coming on campus, we are able to leave on the weekends and during holidays.

Overall, I am glad the Ojai Valley School opened for school.

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Have you ever thought about death?

I have.

Does it happen fast and painless?

Am I laying in a hospital bed surrounded by my family, basking in all of my successes. Nothing but happiness and satisfaction when I look back. I close my eyes with the itention of sleeping. Slipping deeper into sleep. I lose my grip on life. My lungs exhale with my last breath and Im gone.

Is that a sad way to go?

Or am I climbing Mount Everest? Each breath a fight for survival. Each step a step closer to absolute accomplishment. Maybe I started in a group of 15 and now there are two. My other partner ready to make the summit with me. We leave camp four which sits exactly at 26,000 feet. It is a day of oxygen tanks and sheer pain. The wind is generous but the air still spun with little frozen flakes. Were so close. With only a half an hour longer, my partner says he can’t make it. I push on. I make it. The snow had stopped completely. My lungs shrunk and my body crippled with the cold. Sitting down I rest. Absolute peace. The clouds hung below the mountain cutting me off from the ordinary world. Hours pass by after the excruciating journey, I let the cold take my body. The weather changes and the winds pick up. Without enough strength or carry on I sit there letting the elements take me. In my last minutes, all I can think about is the excruciatingly cold pain that rips at my skin. I close my eyes and my body is forever frozen in time.

That would be cool.

But what happens after death?

Do I instantly begin a new life? Do I get re-circulated back into the possibly ever looping birth cycle? Did I die just to die again and again and again?

Or does my energy and soul dissipate into the world erasing me completely?

These questions are unanswerable so I choose not to fear death but accept that it will happen. All I can do is live before I die.

Credit: Getty Images

On a Mountain, Under a Tree, Above the Clouds

A wise man once said to me that your trauma is not something that can be resolved. A person must take what has happened to them and learn how to survive alongside the pain, and instead of it consuming you, it becomes apart of you.

A wise man once said to me that I was meant to be great. I am not destined to do one monumental thing, he said, I am destined to be monumental.

A wise man once said to me that life was a seed that everyone is encouraged to plant. Some will plant their seed with the best of soil and it will still fail to grow. Some will grow in the crevice of two boulders, striped of all nurtience, and explode into an extraordinary tree.

A wise man once said to me that reading stories about the crystal blue sea or the towering mountains that forever reached to the heavens was not enough. He said to me that I must dive deep into salty water, and let the cold chill take over my body. He told me that I must drown in experiences, and that I must lay above the clouds.

A wise man once told me that my life is a piece of nothing in the scheme of infinity, a single electron in the sun’s ever-burning fire. He told me that beyond my sunken world there was a blackness that stretched out so far that if I were to walk the path of infinity for my entire life, I would not reach the starting line.

A wise man stared at me as I stared at him. The fogged mirror didn’t affect how clearly I saw the man looking back at me. As he gripped my eyes he said, don’t waist Oxygen trying to survive, use what you are given and try and live.

Photo Credit:Reddit

An uproar in wildlife conservation

For many years I have been an active advocate and participant in wildlife conservation. With my photography, I am hoping to reach people and show them the beauty and diversity we have on our planet and show how important it is to keep it alive. There are so many incredible photographers out there that do just that, and who use their voice to stand up for animals. I have many role-models that I look up to, but recently there has been an uproar for one of them.

David Yarrow is one of the most famous photographers and one of the seemingly biggest advocates for wildlife conservation. But in reality, he embodies everything that is NOT conservation. From chasing a giraffe to get a perfect shot, to using wolves and bears that are enslaved, to game farms with a record of abuse, there is one image that has caused the public to hold their breath. A picture in which a model is standing just 15 feet away from 3 elephants.

Now many will probably wonder why that is so bad. If anything would have happened during the shooting, say if one of the elephants started to feel stressed or threatened, they could have firstly endangered the life of the model, but also their lives. If one of the elephants would have attempted to charge, he would have paid for it with his life and would have probably gotten shot. One of the three elephants is named Craig, one of Africa’s last big tuskers.

Now I wonder, is it really worth it to risk a animals life just to get a perfect shot. And most importantly, can you call yourself a wildlife conservationist while actually exploiting animals. I don’t think so.

Yarrow has finally said something and apologized for his actions. It is not much but it is a first step in making things right.

picture credit to David Yarrow

Ageing

Some things really do get better as they age, and the little old house that sits at the top of a hill is the perfect example.

This little house is strong and mighty, and it has seen its fair share of heartbreaks, makeups, first moments, last goodbyes, tears, smiles, storms, fires, spring rain, and much more.

It sits atop a hill, with a view of the mountains surrounding and a window through the trees to look down into the valley surrounding below it. This little house has aged, but it has a story to tell.

The house has sat atop the same hill for over seventy years, watching multiple families grow, being a safe place for kids to run to after the rain starts, a place that is not just a house, but a home.

Even though the white picket fence with the red fence is tipping over with chipped paint, the porch does not keep the rain out, the wood floors inside are warped and worn, the ceiling leaks, and the doors do not keep the winter chill out, it has aged beautifully.

Although those little details seem off-putting to most, to me they make that little ageing house a home.

Image Credit: https://pixels.com/

Vision Therapy

I have really bad eyesight, like horrible. I have had to wear glasses since I was four years old, and I could never wear contacts. 

Every time I ask about contacts the optometrist says that my right eye is too weak. Over the years I have had to train my right eye to open.

My left eye used to open and work, but my right eye would always squint. This led to my eyes being different prescriptions. 

When I was younger I had to wear an eye patch over my left eye to make my right eye stronger. It worked a little bit. 

Photo credit: acotv.org

I had many different glasses and prescriptions, but it never felt like my eyesight would get better. 

Then I discovered vision therapy. I was skeptical at first, but I was surely mistaken.

I went twice a week and did eye exercises throughout the week. Over time my eye got stronger and my depth perception was immaculate.

My vision became 20-25 in just under three months. Going to vision therapy was the best decision I have made in a while.