I had an awesome opportunity this past weekend to be one of the Photographers at the Banff Yoga Festival. Not only did I get to combine three things I love…photography, yoga and mountains but it gave me the chance to explore Banff…which strangely enough I’ve never really done much of. Really is true that sometimes we forget to take advantage of the beauty right in our own backyard.So when I wasn’t working I took some time to explore and see some of this gorgeous area that I’d never seen before. Like the Banff Springs.
It was an experience that I’ll never forgot. This time gave me back something I’ve been without for quite some time…the chance to just be me and concentrate on my photography. It wasn’t an easy decision as it required me to be away from Little Miss for more than just my usual couple hours a couple times a week when I go to my yoga classes. We both struggled with our separation from the second I left on the Friday morning. Hard to say who shed more tears her or me but we both found ways to find our strength apart.
A meditation class in the mountains brought peace to my soul and helped to quiet my separation anxieties and find a peaceful balance in knowing that we were both strong enough to prevail and this would only help our bond grow stronger. The view of the mountains and the setting at the base of the river definitely helped bring peace to my busy mind and stinging heart. On the hike back to the shuttle with a renewed strength inside me I forged on with a new appreciation for my surroundings and for the courage to escape my comfort zone and get back to doing things id done before I was a mommy. The updates from the Mister that my Little Miss was adjusting well to her first day without me added a lot of confidence to that as well. It was a long day, emotionally and physically but as I drove home that night I had to stop. Mother Nature herself gave me a sign that everything was okay. Following another rain storm the weather broke as the sun set and there was a hint of a rainbow gracing the sky. Day two was a long and rewarding day. I made the commute back to Banff knowing I was stronger than the day before and knowing that I was going to have a day I wouldn’t soon forget. The morning commenced with meditation on the side..I kid you not the side of a mountain. While stunning and breathtaking it was a true mountain morning. A cold mountain wind blew hard and brought an already challenging situation to new heights. For when your wondering up and around dodging gopher holes and meditating yogis all on a steep mountain incline with a camera more often than not obstructing your clear vision of where your waking there’s bound to be some fall out…or fall down. As I had my footings figured out and cautiously learned the best paths around the area, paying special attention to where to avoid I kept a close watch on the fear that I was going to tumble down the side or step into a hole and embrace my clumsy side. The shoot and the meditation ceremony proceeded as beautifully as the surroundings. Then with my confidence high the wind blasted harder and I fought with tissues to wipe the tears brought on by the cold force while I was doing my best to do a lens change so I could get some more intense shots. I fumbled when making the actual change and my cold fingers missed putting my lens down close enough to my bag of gear and my poor ol’ 50mm went bounding down the side of the mountain. I made an initial attempt to do my best Paw Patrol rescue to stop it in its path but a flash of me tumbling after it immediately made me stop and just watch it roll and bounce farther and farther into the forest. Funnily enough in the serenity of the meditation I could hear it bouncing and thudding away. It took me a minute or two to actually process what I’d just lost but where anger would usually be the reaction I chose to be positive. Better a lens than me or my camera or honestly any of my other more expensive glass. Maybe there’s a little gopher who’s into photography enjoying it. My day forged on and I soon forgot all about my poor lens. My final shoot of the day took me to the stunning Two Jack Lake…another place I was unaware of. It fully ended in the best way..with my Little Miss reading me bedtime stories and giving me lots of snuggles.
The weekend was I feel a success and I’ve got some stories and pictures that I’ll always be able to treasure. I got to take some great and unique shots throughout the festival..watch for them to be published in the near future. I built up my confidence personally. Most importantly I got to spend some specials times with my Little Miss and we prevailed the difficult times of being apart for the first times. Oh..and someone is officially 9 months old!!!