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Into Something Better: Cooling Off In The Shadow Of The Falls – Arkona, Ontario, Canada

July 24, 2017

Inspired by the poet Mary Oliver, each month we seek to bring our children Into.Something.Better. Something unscripted and unplugged and sacred. In our various corners of the planet, we venture forth. And we the mother’s, Freelensers all of us, bow down and receive gifts in the form of photographs of our children within nature, in all of it’s unexpected vastness.

(I was even inspired to write a poem while we were in the midst of our little adventure in the Rock Glen Gorge on the hottest day of the year)

Dancing dragonflies

Shimmering iridescient blue & green,

An ancient ritual in the shadow of the waterfall.

A millennia of history exposed, vulnerable

The air and wind and water and ice

Releasing ancient seabeds

From beneath. Not forever anymore.

Quietly resting, slumbering.

Until the water rushes forth to the earth and rock,


The first glimpse of sunlight in eons, maybe longer.


Just below the dancing dragonflies,

Through the shimmer and cascades.

We seek,

The relics and remains of primordial sea creatures.

Up next in the circle is my fellow Canadian Joni Burtt and her spellbinding images of her children in their family garden. It is simply magical! You can check it out here, and make sure to follow the circle around to see everyone’s glorious and surreal images. You won’t be disappointed!


Into Something Better: Rocky Mountain Explorers – Squamish, British Columbia

June 27, 2017

We are a group of mothers & photographers who freelense. We live in all corners of this planet. Inspired by the Mary Oliver poem Sleeping In The Forest, we all have a common goal. To get our children into the wild. Into Something Better. We know it’s out there. We just have to put away the devices to find it. While we are at it, why don’t we freelense it too.

When I was researching ideas for activities for my family’s recent trip 4,138km trip from the very flat, and sanitized Southwestern Ontario, to the wild, wild west of Canada’s Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, I very quickly discovered that the term “off the beaten path” has vastly different meanings in BC than it does in the most populated part of Canada where I live. The first thing I noticed about BC, even from the air, is how the city of Vancouver and it’s suburbs, where our hotel was, are just sitting precariously on the edge of the wilderness. Honest to goodness, you are going to die if you go off the path wilderness.

A few days into our trip, we loaded up the kids into our rental car, and along with my husband’s childhood best friend, his wife and kids who live live in BC, headed north on the Sea to Sky highway, which travels from the skyscrapers of downtown Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean to Whistler. At almost the halfway point is Squamish, home of the Sea to Sky Gondola. Once we were at the top of the mountain and taking a potty break, a woman who worked there saw us with a gaggle of kids and recommended a family friendly, interactive trail to the lookout. I’m pretty sure this was actually her job to be watching for city people like us with rowdy kids who are in need of some guidance. Without any hesitation, it was her advice which made our adventure that day an adventure and not a fiasco. And only one kid got lost, but then he got found and all was good.

(After the fact, I found out from my Mom, that she and my Dad had honeymooned in BC, and had gone up the Sea to Sky Gondola and hiked this very same trail, 51 years earlier)

Up next in the circle is my fellow Canadian, Joni Burtt getting Into Something Better in a New Brunswick river.

Up next in the circle is my fellow Canadian, Joni Burtt getting Into Something Better in a New Brunswick river.


Into Something Better: Rainbow Falls, Ontario Canada

May 29, 2017
Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver
I thought the earth remembered me,
She took me back so tenderly
Arranging her skirts
Her pockets full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before
A stone on the riverbed,
Nothing between me and the white fire of the stars,
But my thoughts.
And they floated light as moths
Among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
Breathing around me.
The insects and the birds
Who do their work in darkness.
All night I rose and fell,
As if water, grappling with luminous doom.
By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times
Into something better.

I am so honoured and excited to be a part of this group of Creative Goddess Freelensing Mamas from around the globe as we strive to get our kids outside and Into Something Better, whether that is a grand adventure or just a few steps outside of our doors.

This month, my daughter and her bestie wanted to explore a secret “waterfall” we discovered this spring, and have dubbed Rainbow Falls. The girls brought a picnic, a blanket and some art supplies to paint the water as it tumbles from the drainage ditch at the end of our road, down the steep bank and into the river.

This spot is actually a junk heap where generations of local farmers dumped their garbage, but in the midst of rolls of wire, discarded farm implements and rusty mattress springs, there is beauty and growth as the earth reclaims this riverbank. The blossoms welcomed us, and the trickling water serenaded us on our afternoon adventure.

Up next in the circle is the insanely talented Anna Larson from Olympia, Washington.