prairie light (part 1)

PHOTO_1.jpg PHOTO_2.jpg PHOTO_4.jpgI recently came across Prairie Light while I was at work. To my good fortune, the branch that I was at was withdrawing this book from their collection. One of the perks of working within a library is that you get first dibs on every item that is chosen to become a donation to the Friends of the Library Shop. As soon as I held Prairie Light in my arms, I knew that I was about to become inspired by many blog posts to come. I only had to read the introduction to the book to discover that all of my own feelings that I have ever possessed towards the prairies were laid out on the pages with such eloquence and grace. I felt as if this book described prairie life in a way that I never could, and yet, had given me clues as to how I will feel towards it in the not so distant future. For those of you who were ever curious about the Canadian prairies, here is the first of a two part photography adventure, with excerpts from Courtney Milne, the talent behind my latest and motivating find. 

PHOTO_7.jpgPHOTO_6.jpgPHOTO_8.jpg PHOTO_11.jpgPHOTO_10.jpg PHOTO_12.jpgPHOTO_13.jpg PHOTO_14.jpgPHOTO_15.jpg“The prairie landscape is, for me, a visual feast that continues to bring joy as well as scope for expression. But it was not always that way. As a child I loathed the harsh winters, but gained healthy respect for the elements. It was on my daily treks to school that I learned to judge how far I could go without freezing my flesh.

“My only childhood memory of vivid prairie colour is watching sunsets. I remember the deep crimson that would linger long after sundown. Yet even the sunset was tainted with the unhappy acknowledgement that I had to go in and get my homework finished.

“I remained on the prairie until I finished university. My first move thereafter was to the land of my childhood dreams, California. It was only then that I realized just how special were the prairie sunsets. My evenings felt lonely and incomplete when the sun dropped out of sight and the sky turned black. The darkness, the continual traffic noise, and the police sirens were poor substitutes for the evening light of home.

“When I returned to the prairie the landscape looked more attractive to me than I remembered. I welcomed the wide open spaces and the sense of freedom endorsed by the infinite prairie skies. I liked the unpredictability and the excitement of the storms. I felt drawn by the vibrancy and sensuality of the prairie colour, and to the distinctiveness of the seasons. No more struggle to remember what month it was; I had only to glance out the window and see the date written on the land or in the trees, or announced by the song of the meadowlark. Prairie light seemed to range across the complete spectrum of human emotion. Identifying with its variety of moods enlarged and enriched my vision.”

– Courtney Milne, Prairie Light

7 Comments

  1. SO stunning. I have never lived – or even seen – somewhere that is so vast full of snow. Seems like out of a fairytale.

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  2. I agree with you that this is so inspiring. The text from the book as well as the photos. Everything looks and sounds so tranquil.

    http://www.tamarasblend.com/

  3. I usually just travel through the prairies on my where somewhere else. I’m glad I’ve taken the time to enjoy them more now. I love your photos of the and clouds, just beautiful.

  4. This is great, beautiful prairie descriptions and lovely depictions.

  5. I love how you were inspires by this book. I think it’s one I need for my collection as well. Like Courtney, I moved to California right out of school and in the same fashion when I returned home the beauty of the prairies was ever more apparent.

    Look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Jenn

  6. Beautiful – looks like home!

  7. I remember those books – and the drive-in shown in one of the photos!

  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (one on earth, one in heaven, and growing another). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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