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mayBE 2015: twenty-six.

Introducing Nikki Satira.  She is another amazing young person that has been involved in getting my children excited about the outdoors. I have been lucky enough to also hear her sing in a couple of song circles.  Listen here to her beautiful voice.  Her passion for plants and all things wild is the type of passion that all of us wish for and hope for our children.  She blogs about some of it on her blog Eat My Chicory.  (And she has a wonderful sense of humour. My kind of gal.)

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My name is Nikki. I’m a writer, musician, outdoor educator, herbalist, sasquatch enthusiast and I am creative.

Nikki

Wait. Am I? I forget. I don’t know… Sometimes? Maybe?

I remember when I was in grade four I started a band that performed Spice Girls and S Club 7 covers for my class. The band name was legit: AMNS – it was a combination of the first letter of all of the band member’s names. We performed at a talent show at our school once, and my musician stepfather called the school and drilled the office staff about gear and setup. He requested that each band member get their own head mic, and scoffed at them when they responded with “we’re not that kind of school.”

AMNS went on to record a demo to send to EMI records on their TalkGirl Tape Recorder. Nothing came of it, however, and AMNS went downhill due to we’re not her friend today but we’ll be her friend tomorrow playground politics.

After that, I (also known as N) went on to bigger and better things. In high school, I became obsessed with Henry David Thoreau and began to dive into the world of poetry and creative writing, becoming published several times – all the while singing in choirs and obsessing over emo bands and dressing in black.

Now, I am a ukulele playing, songwriting, blog posting herbalist and outdoor educator who never gets anything done.

Nikki_band

Creativity is like a really gorgeous BFF whom I’m extremely jealous of and never call. I’ll only call her when I need her, last minute, when I’m under pressure or have a deadline and she always comes. She’s never angry at me for forgetting to call, and when she visits it’s like we had never been apart in the first place.

The reason I don’t call her is because from a distance, she’s intimidating. Her facebook profile pictures always have more than 200 likes and she’s the most popular person I know. Compared to her, I’m like the Pokemon Muk – gross and purple and slimy yet pathetically loveable. There’s too much pressure to be amazing when she’s around, and I shut down.

nikki_pokemon

However, my favourite times are when she shows up unannounced. There is no build up of anxiety surrounding her arrival and we usually spend quality time alone, without any pressure – just me and her and a bottle of tequila. We tell stories, crack jokes, laugh until the sun rises and I forget how intimidating she can be.

All metaphors aside, I have no creative routine or practice in place other than patience. I wait for a moment, a story, a lesson, a subliminal message in a flower, a metaphor from a mountain, a quote from a quirky child or a message from a moth. I will only find myself in a creative rut if I try to force it – I don’t force creativity, it forces me.

Nikki_plants

My muse? The growth cycles of plants, the unnamed feeling of homesickness for a place that isn’t your home, strange characters, death, decay, aliens, space, soil, mythical* creatures, oceans, animals, microorganisms, evolution and hazy memories from before I was old enough to know what I was being given.

Without these things, I would have no creative ground to stand on. My work is my stories, and the stories from things that can’t tell their stories.

Nikki_boots

My work is stories.

All I know how to do is tell stories.

Did I just say the word stories too much?

Sorry.

*The word mythical is subject to scrutiny. From me. Big Foot is real. That is all.

Nikki_sasquatch

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Go to the forest and find FIVE nature mysteries you can bring home.

When you get home, pick the one that your feel most connected to.

Using your imagination, write a paragraph or two on what you think it could be.

Repeat for all five if desired!

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Thanks Nikki for sharing your story and for the prompt!  My kids are always bringing home nature mysteries and sometimes we solve them and sometimes we don’t.  And sometimes we say that we should really remember to ask Nikki about it…

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You can leave a comment below or join my top secret life explorers group on Facebook if you want to share any discoveries or explorations.  Friend me  and I will send you an invite!  You can share your thoughts or your creative expressions there.  You can also post on Instagram using #may_BE2015  

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