Isn't this a gorgeous photo? It was taken in British Columbia—close to where James and I planned to go for a week of R&R.
We never made it. The heat kept rising, forest fires loomed, and a family member received some news that made us want to stay closer to home.
So, we cancelled the trip and THIS happened instead.
You're looking at the Cabin on the Coulee Farm.
Never heard of it? Neither had James and I. Yet it's only 3 hours away from where we live.
If you'd told us we'd end up on the prairies, we would have laughed.
That was never our plan.
Our hearts were set on the quaint town of Nelson. We'd wanted mountains and lakes and trees.
But when we searched for other possibilities, the lone cabin (on airbnb), caught our attention.
"It looks like a scene from a movie," James said.
"Like the wild west," I agreed, looking over his shoulder.
We were quiet for a moment. Then we both said, "I think we should go."
And we did. And the most incredible thing happened.
We slipped back through a portal in time.
And I don't mean to the 1800s, before modern technology. We still had wifi, indoor plumbing, and all the comforts of home.
I mean we went back to the best of our childhoods. We felt like kids again—full of wonder, curiosity, imagination, and a sense of adventure.
We couldn't get enough of our prairie playground. Instead of buildings and telephone wires, there was 360 degrees of sagebrush and big, open sky.
It was like coming out of a long starvation and receiving a big bowl of nourishing food.
"But what did you DO?" several people asked when we got back home.
"Absolutely nothing," we said and we meant it.
Of course, that wasn't really true.
🌾 We made breakfast together and drank coffee on the outdoor porch, watching the starlings ride the wind streams in front of us.
🌾 We hiked the coulee and discovered a marsh full of cattails and American goldfinches.
🌾 We listened to coyotes yip and howl at night as we stared up at a galaxy of stars.
🌾 We watched the cows roam—some of the blondies wandering over to visit a big muscled bull who bellowed for company. 🌾 We relaxed to the music of insects and birds and whistling gophers—an orchestra of the natural world.
And we fell in love with it all. Again.
James and I may be self-professed city slickers, but we were raised on the prairies—James in Saskatchewan, myself in Alberta. Most of you know my story. I left home early, running as fast as I could to the city, leaving many unhappy memories behind. I turned my back on the prairies—a classic case of guilt by association. If you've been following me, you know the healing work I've done to release years of anger, hurt, and bitterness. The cabin on Coulee Farm was a marker of some kind. It had caught my attention for a reason, reminding me of the 1992 film, Unforgiven (my favourite western, filmed not far from our actual location). Life seemed to be asking a very important question. Was there anything in ME still left unforgiven? And not just grudges against others, but any self-hatred or self-judgement or shame? The answer, I realized (with honest relief), was NO. There are things I don't agree with, but the pain of my childhood is over. It's done. All forgiven. And the land I'd snubbed so long ago had waited for me, welcoming me back with open arms. It was truly an unexpected and emotional gift. When I checked in with James, he said he'd received something too. "I didn't appreciate the prairies, growing up," he told me. "But being there helped me get present. There weren't any people. No judgements. No stories. No dramas to get pulled into. My mind could be still." "Was that the revelation?" I asked. "No. The revelation was THIS," he said, tapping his chest. "That feeling of peace, that feeling of connection, it didn't come from the prairies. It's always been here, inside ME." "Wow!" I said. "Holy shit." And then we stopped talking. And just felt the truth of it. Maybe you feel it too. Maybe you've noticed that when you pull your focus away from the story-telling mind (where all judgments start), and just allow yourself to BE for a moment, the stillness is there. And in it, a sense of ease. An open prairie with a big blue sky overhead, full of possibility. And your own heart, welcoming you home. Sending you so much love,