In search of Sunflowers

In Search of Sunflowers

Natural Storytellers 

Symbolic Art & Soul of the Road

             “My Heart wants Roots, but my Mind wants Wings…” an articulate phrase coined by popular Lyricist {E.Y. Harburg} that describes the wandering soul of many travelers, like myself, in a constant search for things that make us feel whole.  Commonly referred to as “wanderlust”, I describe the term as a trait characterized by a desire to keep learning via experiences drawn by a magnetic pull touching our inner selves, all while discovering new places!

The majestic Sunflower is nature’s compass that stand stately as mileposts & guardians to navigate the vastness of our Province leading the way to wondrous time treasures & cultural vestiges.  Sunflowers characterised by their sunny disposition are sprouting in the North Okanagan as noble Wayfinders.  “The Art of the Drive is Coming Alive” in the City of Vernon, where sunflowers are painted on buildings and seedlings are popping up throughout the townsite generating a fresh new beginning for The Art Route.  

Inspired by the insight of Vernon’s own Master Artist and Wayfinder Creator, Michelle Loughery, the Route 97 corridor, directs travelers to an extension of B.C.’s Golden Mother Road.  A Garden of Hope orchestrated by Internationally Renowned Artist, Michelle accompanied by her Agent, Stacey Phinemore spawned a vast team of brilliant Artists who mutually and collectively lifted our spirits into a “Sunflower State of Mind”!  Behold, the graciously golden sunflowers have culminated for an impressive Exhibit at the Gallery Vertigo in Vernon, ignited by seeds in motion to convey powerful artwork induced by sunshine.

Sunflowers are extensions of ourselves that speak a universal language written by gestures of motion in waves & handshakes that spell out the principles of hope.  My life is a series of discovery and sunflowers reflect the yellow centerlines to guide me in daylight and the beacons at nighttime to set the course at journey’s end.

The world speaks equality within the graciousness of Sunflowers.  They pump-a-pulse and instill power-to-people as pillars of society that come to life as altruistic & humanlike “wayfinders” bequeathed to humanity for a Horizon of Hope. 

Articulate Road Wisdom educates us that no place you have been ever leaves you!  The Sunflower Project is a Milestone, not just a Moment in Time.  Travel is a dynamic teacher, and the sunflower is a universal sundial that steers the soul of humanity into a rhythm of hope.   

Dawning a Sunflower dress welcomes a sunny smile all wrapped in a ribbon of hope to arise for all that I meet along the way … let the sunflowers do the talking!

            As a non-artist, my personal expression of ‘Art’ draws for me through the power of blending words, radiating an exchange that says who I am without speaking!   These silent words are the art form that tells my story and whispers softly to write the script…

A sunflower is my guardian angel who stretches her neck to reach the sunset with a promise to bloom into a colorful dawn to begin a fresh new day!

Yours in a Sunflower State of Mind on the Crest of a Golden Sunset,

Lorrie Fleming

A Golden Road Mother 🌻

“Trust the Road by Sunflower Power”

A road with a sunset in the background

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“Never underestimate the therapeutic power of Sunflowers”

 

Our Braided Trails

HIGHWAY TRAVEL WRITER LORRIE FLEMING

SPEAK IN A SILENT LANGUAGE THAT WHISPERS SOFTLY INTO THE WINDS OF TIME

…Our History Speaks Through a Land of Braided Trails…

            Let’s all join hearts-to-hands with land-to-legends in celebration of our transportation network carved by the toil of our ancestral trail blazers & pioneers setting the course toward unlimited travel. Transcending gravel & grit churned into gold mixed with the aggregate will of human spirit, our land is hereditary by a blend of people with a purpose and a common sense of place to call ‘home’. 

Our shared cultural values woven into a westward migration is galvanized by a sense of wonderment and mutual respect in search of a new frontier.  The determination and hunger of these eager voyagers held the key to survival and the courage to set their future in motion into a vast landmass.  

Testament to the perseverance of those early pioneers, our two nations (Canada & USA) pay tribute & homage in their honor.  In September 2021 the calendar was marked in permanent ink to celebrate a Century Milestone of the ‘International Peace Arch Monument’ situated on the median between Blaine Washington and Surrey, BC, standing noble to protect humankind.  

Backtracking to our grassroots, the northern supply chain of the Oregon Trail Network (of 1856-68) and it’s early origins is deeply rooted into two nations.   The BC Grasslands became known as a prime cattle route recognized as the ‘Okanagan Trail’ and lies in the Okanagan Valley on both sides of the US Border.  The Oregon Territory was greatly valuable to both the US & Britain as a powerful economic driver.  American cattlemen and traders brought cattle, freight, and culture (a refined understanding of humankind) into the B.C. Interior and became the main supply corridor into the BC Gold Rush (of 1858 and onward).  The O’Keefe Ranch became a clearinghouse for the cattle to feed the multitude of miners and pioneers that permeated into the BC Goldfields.    

History portrays that BC was built on American economic might; however, lest we forget the First Nations Peoples that cultivated these trails over many thousands of years.  The Oregon Treaty of 1846 signed between the US and Britain set a national policy for a shared right of passage and speaks to the shared pasts of Canada & USA, 

 The Oregon Treaty of 1846 was the impetus of setting the US and British North American border at the 49th Parallel.  Yes indeed, our history speaks through a silent language that echoes far beneath the borderless ground.  

Stretching the ‘Mother Lode’ of the BC Goldfields, spreading southbound to the Mother Road, our international connective hearts shape a long & winding umbilical cord into a bloodline galvanized by a shared cultural heritage.   Road trips are equivalent to human wings, may the energy of youth take flight and set our sights into the future…A paraphrase from “Travels with Charley In Search of America” by Master Literary John Steinbeck… “A journey is a person in itself, no two are alike, we do not take 

WHY ROUTE 66 in CANADA???

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming – Founder Canadian Route 66 Association 

The question is “Why Route 66 in Belgium, France, Germany and yes, Japan”? It is the ultimate international symbol of popular culture & nostalgia, recreating the happier and simpler times of the “1950 & 60’s” especially for the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, like myself – Coming of Age… Route 66 personifies the dream of our post wartime parents, recovering from economical limitations and ready to roll to embark in the spirit of adventure in the coveted family car. 
  

My first sighting of Route 66 started in April 1994 while traveling through Arizona, after visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico, Bob & I headed west on I-40 and noticed a sign posted along the Freeway that read:  “Historic Route 66 – Next Exit“. 

Remembering the popular 1960’s TV show featuring (2) freedom seekers Buz & Todd driving a Corvette Roadster, our curiosity drove us to get off the freeway!  Shortly after exiting the Interstate, we were drawn to meet Angel Delgadillo, the famous town barber in Seligman, AZ, who founded the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona to “Save the Iconic Highway”.  Angel lifted our spirits and convinced us to come back in 1995 for the Annual Route 66 Fun Run weekend (since we had just missed this year’s event by one week).   Angel was so enthusiastic, that we couldn’t resist returning to Arizona to join the Event in April,1995 and to drive our ’82 Vette’.  Amazingly, the Fun Run exceeded our expectations, but we could not believe that we seemed to be the Only Canadians registered in this momentous event, considering all the ‘Snowbirds’ that travel to the sunshine state each year!

Albeit various international participants were spotted along the journey, including tour bus loads of people from other countries (England, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Japan).  Bob & I were so impressed with the Route 66 Fun Run, that we planned our vacation the following year for April 1996 and returned with our Vette, this time with personalized license plates “ROOT66”, from British Columbia. 

As ‘Lone Wolves, we became ‘hip to the trip’ and remained the Only Canadians to be included in the Event!   In that regard, Jerry Richards, one of the “Founding Fathers” of the Arizona Historic Route 66 Association, along with the Secretary-Treasurer, Anita Leeming, encouraged Lorrie to start an Association in Canada so the people of the Great North would become aware of the annual Fun Run and other events planned along this historic highway. 

We returned home in May 1996 and Lorrie began the task of starting the wheels in motion by contacting & meeting with various Car Clubs in the Greater Vancouver area.  The BC Corvette Club certified as our first chartering member to endorse the “Canadian Route 66 Association” for registration into the B.C. Societies Government Agency in Victoria. Gaining momentum among the Classic Automotive groups, the Totem Classic Thunderbird Club, and the Vancouver Camaro Club subsequently became interested factions in the Mother Road Movement.  This generated interest by our friend, Gerry Sheppard, owner of a 1964 Corvette Roadster, and Lloyd Gregorowich, owner of Good Time Oldies Memorabilia Store in Langley to join the board as ‘chartering members’. 

Finally, over the course of several months in ‘team building’, acquisition of the (5) chartering members as required to form a Registered Society in the Province of British Columbia came to fruition!  Later, after submitting the founding documents for the Association, I received a letter from popular Radio personality, Red Robinson, of CISL 650 Golden Oldies Station in Vancouver who expressed interest (in his words) to be a founding member. 

Subsequently, I sent all the signed forms to Victoria, and was thereby accepted on October 23, 1996, as Registered Society No. S36022, incorporated in British Columbia, Canada.  In our founding year we gained a total of 150 members, ranging from Ontario to the USA and overseas in Germany & Switzerland.  Appearing in the travel section of the Vancouver Province Newspaper, the travel editor posted a headline, Route 66 Starts Here, yes indeed, we really do have a Route 66 in CANADA!!! 
  
Postscript:

  • A lot has happened since 1996. In August 1999 President Clinton signed the original Congressional Route 66 Preservation Bill to allocate $10 million in a matching grant fund program over ten years to preserve historic buildings & sites along the original Route, administered by the US National Parks System.  Over the course of two decades, extensions of the Congressional Bill has been granted.  Canada, through the Canadian Route 66 Association, continues to increase public awareness, playing a significant role in achieving the goal to preserve & promote the famed ‘Mother Road’ for future generations to rediscover.  Route 66 is an international symbol representing freedom, adventure seeking, and honoring our shared heritage in the arts & cultural experience.   There are numerous activities planned along the Route each year in every State that the Highway passes through (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri & Illinois). The National Route 66 Federation was established to act as a liaison with the USA Federal Government on legislative issues.  Links on our Canadian Route 66 Association Website directs enthusiasts to other Preservation Societies dedicated for the same purpose:  To preserve the history and promote events on Route 66 for people to experience an inclusive & multicultural journey for all to enjoy
  • In 2002, Lorrie was introduced to Canadian Master Mural Artist (Michelle Loughery) who sparked the Route 66 Mural City designation in Cuba Missouri.  Michelle was commissioned through the National Route 66 Federation in an outreach funding & sponsorship project, to paint the first mural in Cuba at the People’s National Bank Building.  A series of (12) murals were completed in time for Viva Cuba to celebrate a centennial project; and the array of murals continue to evolve.  Since the Cuba project began, Michelle and I have maintained a special working relationship in a shared effort to extend the Arts network, starting at the Mother Road and threading the ribbon of arts & culture to cross over to the BC Heritage Highway Corridor.  In that regard Michelle’s creative & visionary initiative of “Art Route Blue” has evolved and is gaining ground with the Province of BC for a borderless route to connect the Art Cities. 

RUBBER TO ROAD. . .DREAMS TO DRIVES

RIDING THE RURAL ON BC’S ART ROUTE BLUE

Sculpting the Stories into Timeless Art Touring Trails

Narrative Penned by Lorrie Fleming for Release in April 2021

            Dreams carry us away as a momentary escape from reality!  Imagining life after COVID confinement is akin to awaking from a prolonged & deep dream, much like landing on a distant shore!  The mind is racing, my heart is pacing, and my emotions are swimming from sea to sand in contemplation of “hitting the road”.  However, thoughts of an inner vision that’s shifting into gear after a ‘year-long sleep’ is somewhat haunting me, a feeling of similarity to Rip Van Winkle awakening in the strange tale’s ending of author Washington Irving’s famous Fairy Tale.     

            A Cantilever Bridge named in honor of Rip Van Winkle (memorialized in the story) spans the Hudson River in New York; and that’s just how art, literature and story telling creates a culture of economic sustainability.  Gravity pulls ‘Circular Art’ into a reciprocal perspective and manifests value into the vestiges of our cultural legacies.  A true measurement of cultural value is profoundly apparent within each distinct ‘persona’ (described as the aspect of someone’s character & traits perceived by others) as seen in literature and portrayed in the Art of lifetime expressions carved into face-lines.  

            Folklore sums up the experience, defining every line, wrinkle, and spot on one’s face with Its own special meaning.  Telltale signs reveal grief, anxiety, hardships, emotion, and life experiences between the lines.  Overlapped amid these bloodlines, builds character that rests silently along a ribbon of roads, that is deeply rooted into the soul of a person’s story.  Folklore defined as traditional beliefs, customs and stories passed through generations by word of mouth; implanted into a popular myth, culture and belief relating to a particular place, period, and of the people that disseminated within a region.  

            Folklore has no author (like a fairy-tale), it simply emerges out of cultures of everyday people into the tales that people tell, urban legends, myths that are carried forward by constant retelling.  Fairy Tales do come true-to-life in the form of Art, much like a favorite song that travels with you time-after-time along our journey.  The line between mythology and folklore is subjective.  Myth is held in sacred or spiritual reverence, whereas a folktale is popular, but not sacred.     

            Art is the glue to bond society and a counterweight of balance for the social & economic divide between rural, urban & suburban communities.  Being locked into neutral by COVID, forces us to recalibrate and set new goals for a stronger and more permanent path carved into an artform.  Art is the “currency” in the eye of the traveling public that harvests the stories protected by the History Keepers and ingrained deeply into the DNA of the Artwork; and portrayed as a Highway Delivery Billboard.   

            There exists a parallel spirit, a world, a special place inhabited by the unseen eye.  Mothers of the Road and History Keepers collectively add permanence to our society (just like a blueprint & trademark stamped by a sacred signature).  Let the Power of Art carry us to the Godparents of all murals and speak in a soft tone of a colloquial language for all humankind to understand and learn.  Entrust in the people of the wall as their images appear to the viewer (the traveller) that moves within the blue spaces along the horizon and transported by a Mystical Blue Horse held by the reins of a ‘Lifeline of Art’.    

            Fasten the seat belts and tune up the volume dial on “Art Route Radio”, Michelle has surprise guests to accompany you for the ride along your journey.  As we get ready to roll on a mystery tour, the storyline magic will unfold as Michelle holds the color wheel to highlight the people, places, and the stories of those who contributed to our life of freedom.  Filled by a fusion of tears of joy, sadness and despair, Michelle’s Art Route Radio tour expounds the trials & tribulations which paved our roads in the aggregate patchwork that built our nation strong & free.  Listen to the message between the breathes, time-after-time, they shall be our Highway of Hearts, a teaching platform to carry us home.  Let the road take you to the path unknown, unlock the experience of ‘Destination Mural Towns’ and share the campfire stories at journey’s pause.  The joy of travel comes from the unexpected, full of things that once were…

Talk with your eyes, listen with your heart, for eyes are the window to the soul!

Epilogue:

LIVE HISTORY AMID FOLKLORE ETCHED INTO THE POWER OF ART

THE EYES OF ART ARE WATCHING …

VACCINES TO VACATIONS ON THE HORIZON

SPEARHEADED BY ARTISTS PAINTING THE LINES & PLACING THE DOTS

CREATING THE WAY TO THE APEX OF OUR HERITAGE ART HIGHWAYS

A MESSAGE TO WELCOME SPRING:  Penned by Lorrie Fleming for March 1, 2021

            Spring is a pinnacle time to plant seeds of optimism to weave the threads of knowledge into our crossroads, cultivating a renewed sense of direction into a desired tourism destination.    Traveling between the lines is the preferred ‘trails to tales’ of a bonafide roadie, seeking new faces in the wide-open spaces of unexpected twists & turns navigating a true-to-life travel experience.  

            March is the textbook time to awake, muse, and reflect on the places that we have traveled, and evoke the looming hearts hidden securely within the spaces tucked tightly between these lines.     It remains a fact that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, however, traveling between the lines creates the real window to the soul.

            Along this journey lies the means to reach the inner soul of people, place & purpose that form the memorable experience to magical miles and the code that sets the tone to that ‘sweet spot’ along life’s scenic byway to bliss.  Travel is a therapeutic distraction from our daily diaries of life, an influential escape with a new sense of purpose.  

            February 2021 reached a renewed reality as the eyes of the world watched the amazing imagery of the ‘Perseverance Rover’ successfully land on the surface of Mars.   Witnessing this dynamic solar journey that captured the scene so vividly, our people, place & planet gained a sensation of vicariously voyaging along for the ride!   

            Speaking in terms of staying on Planet Earth, the roads are wide, and the possibilities endless.  Let us take this time to forge ahead and feel the healing powers of “Art” to move us and create the way forward to showcase the miracle of mobility and transport our past and present into a purposeful destination within our reach. 

            An Artist, through a powerful prism of color, can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and reveal the cultural life & times of those who traveled before us; and infuse into humanity a love for learning. 

Here’s to ‘vaccines-to-vacations’, opening the gates for new discoveries that foretells a refreshed story in the season ahead to embark on an actual journey of hope.

“Art is a beacon of light that appears in plain sight, outlined by hues of true blue, and awaits to enlighten you!”

TRANSFORMING OUR HERITAGE HIGHWAYS INTO ART ROUTES

RIVERS-TO-ROADS -TO SCAFFOLDS

Interweaving Threads of Color into the Strands of our Transportation Corridor

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming Penned on December 12, 2020

Inspired by a conversation with Master Muralist, Michelle Loughery

            A new generation of trail blazers are geared up and ready to hit the road, headed for an optimistic journey as the Coronavirus fades into our rear view.  Meanwhile, a new horizon for humankind is being cast on a transportation canvass envisioned by Humanitarian & The Master of Arts, Michelle!  The next step for the Art Route Blue framework is to create a Heritage Highway Recognition Plan and to form an Advisory Committee to work collaboratively in a consortium of partners to cultivate a means to restore the spirits of people, place & planet.  

            Our first pathways of mobility emerged via rivers & waterways connecting early travelers into a landscape of vast terrain that our ancestral pioneers forged initiating a network of trails to open passageways for human navigation.  As the advancement of human travel evolved, our trails developed into rail systems, interspersed with roadways that became highways of a transverse transportation system. 

            Culture & Art changes the face of our civilization; and our roadways & crossroads are the conduit for ancestral history keepers to showcase the founders & pioneers who built our roads and opened new gates to serve the settlements of homesteaders to outreach an immense landscape.  A new horizon is being sculpted to honor the enormous strides of stalwart champions of society and to acknowledge their efforts by transforming the future through visual arts & brush strokes depicting our multifaceted heritage.     

            In our multicultural and distinct society, we are people of many colors, graced by a multitude of vibrant tones and shades of diversity.  As a non-artist, my personal connection to Michelle runs deep, flowing like a river that culminated at the Heart of the Mother Road.  As I traveled on the road, Michelle was high overhead on a scaffold creating the first official Route 66 Mural City in Cuba, Missouri, in 2002.  Painted images that touch the hearts of the townsfolk [The Gold Star Boys aboard the Blue Bonnet Train] depicts the town’s homegrown heroes as they left their home to serve in WWI.     

            Today, in an era of the excessively rushed pace of people {in a hurry to multitask & reach unduly goals}, the time is right to reconnect and reset the inner soul of humanity.  To focus our sights on a sense of shared societal culture in harmony with a lifeline of art spliced into the initiative of Michelle’s Art Route Blue corridor, pumping new life into an upcoming generation of travelers.   Out-of-the Blue appears a beacon of light in pursuit of a beloved Blue Horse (a mythical symbol of hope) and a stabilizer for to all humanity to reach a base of solid ground in this time of global uncertainty.  May we sharply turn towards a Highway of Hope and meet each other on Main Street for a cup of tasty tea!

“If your heart is broken, make Art with the pieces” 

Quote by Shane Koyczan – Canadian Poet & Writer

Romancing the Rural on Art Route Blue

NAVIGATING LIFE’S CROSSROADS

Traveling Through the “Art of Life” (Michelle)

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming Compiled on October 20, 2020

            Michelle’s artistic life’s vision over the course of a quarter century has elevated the bloodline of Steinbeck’s Mother Road into a borderless and timeless ‘piece of art’.  In her eloquent words “we are all traveling through the art of life”.  Art Route Blue represents art-in-motion and is defined by Michelle as “wayfinding”, a belief in a doctrine that all travelers hold an inclusive right of passage.  Our mobility may differ by the vehicle driven (whether it be the driver at the wheel, the passenger; or (remotely navigating by virtual techniques), we are all equally engaged in the biodiversity of life.

            Art & COVID are ironically mutual counterbalances that renders humankind to be inventive by reshaping our world.  The power of art levels the field and draws the landscape into a broadminded ground of passage. “Placing the dots upon the map is much like stringing the pearls on a necklace”, such meaningful words of wisdom voiced by Stacey – A key pillar of Art Route Blue.  Lacing a legacy linked by a connection to culture & creativity straddled along a linear community corridor that depicts both the inner & outer soul of Art Route Blue.

            As a senior citizen, my experience as a seasoned traveler is tremendously enhanced by the introduction of Art Route Blue injected into my life and becoming a part of something much greater that the journey itself.  Michelle and her creatives coupled with the adept insight of Stacey, collectively carved the cornerstone for a purposeful sense of direction in the manner that we are traveling.  Entertaining an instinct to roam is a quality and a driving force towards a therapeutic escape, a reset button that Art Route Blue generates for a life of mobility throughout the aging process.    

            In life’s mosaic of experiences & events, our greatest asset is the ability to venture beyond the set parameters of the present place and connect to the mystical stories that await between the lines.  Isn’t it ironic that The Artist draws out the words inside the Storyteller…And traveling through the ‘art of life’ is where my personal story shall come alive!  

Moreover, Next Page – Reflections of Trails End 2020 …

An investment in travel is an investment in yourself” ~ A fitting quote by travel blogger Matthew Karsten

Remain in a state of readiness to go somewhere…

                        Seasons drastically change, and no matter how we try to resist, the prolonged Canadian winter is creeping upon us as the calendar turns.  Our annual September summer’s end RV road trip has faded into our rear view.  However, the memories remain to be ‘on a roll’ within the places and the faces of the people who are holding on tightly to the bounty of nature.  

            Recreational activity (cycling & hiking) lead to a bevy of outdoor patios at cafes, coffee shops & roadhouses that serve and carry an energetic vibe.  Coffee is becoming a tasteful artwork, steeped with sweet conversation, and lightly sprinkled with a touch of soulful inspiration. These eateries along the roadbed are a lifeline for travelers, a place to share a homelike meal and recharge the energy for the ride back to camp.     Notwithstanding, the unique boutiques & art galleries that instill the culture into the communities, adding value and balance into the Art of ‘retail therapy’! 

            Traversing the lush sun kissed Okanagan Valley eastward along the Crowsnest Highway #3 through to the golden Boundary Country transitions harmoniously into the untouched splendor of the Kootenay Region.  Hospitality is an endless component here as history unfolds into the downtown Main Streets, characterizing each township, where linear communities are threaded tightly into the local culture & folklore to meet & greet travelers as welcome guests.   

              On these dark days of autumn, I simply open my closet and a light reaches out to seemingly ‘stitch the threads together’ into a dance set to a rhythm of time travel.   A fashionable sense of preparatory direction gives me the tools to enter a world of greatness, dressed to conquer and be transported to incredible places, for a glimpse [just for a moment] in the ‘corners of my mind’!   Armed with an inherent desire to travel draws an extended purpose for me to meet & greet like-minded folks who await along this hopeful journey.  Yes indeed, my readiness to travel is a sense of empowerment that’s reflected deeply into the ‘people, place & planet’ ingrained within my inner soul.   

            In closing, preparation for springtime is a new beginning of life on the road.  My passion for travel begins in my closet, a hemline of anticipation to find the perfect accessory for the new road ahead.  So, here’s to my fellow roadies, gather your travel ‘wish list’, pack for all seasons, fasten the seat belt, tighten up the hat strap, and roll down the windows in pursuit of a sweet ride to somewhere else.  Feel the wanderlust and get ready to soak up new cultures for a pilgrimage of travel by the will of your heart.  

Excerpts of a Seasoned Traveler.

Lorrie,

We are but a feather on this planet, be as gentle”! (Michelle Loughery Master Muralist Extraordinaire)

Romancing the Rural on Art Route Blue

NAVIGATING LIFE’S CROSSROADS

Traveling Through the “Art of Life” (Michelle)

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming penned October 19, 2020

            Michelle’s artistic life’s vision over the course of a quarter century has elevated the bloodline of Steinbeck’s Mother Road into a borderless and timeless ‘piece of art’.  In her eloquent words “we are all traveling through the art of life”.  Art Route Blue represents art-in-motion and is defined by Michelle as “wayfinding”, a belief in a doctrine that all travelers hold an inclusive right of passage.  Our mobility may differ by the vehicle driven (whether it be the driver at the wheel, the passenger or remotely navigating by virtual techniques), we are all equally engaged in the biodiversity of life.

            Art & COVID are ironically mutual counterbalances that renders humankind to be inventive by reshaping our world.  The power of art levels the field and draws the landscape into a broadminded ground of passage. “Placing the dots upon the map is much like stringing the pearls on a necklace”, such meaningful words of wisdom voiced by Stacey – A key pillar of Art Route Blue.  Lacing a legacy linked by a connection to culture & creativity straddled along a linear community corridor that depicts both the inner & outer soul of Art Route Blue.

            

As a senior citizen, my experience as a seasoned traveler is tremendously enhanced by the introduction of Art Route Blue injected into my life and becoming a part of something much greater that the journey itself.  Michelle and her creatives coupled with the adept insight of Stacey, collectively carved the cornerstone for a purposeful sense of direction in the manner that we are traveling.  Entertaining an instinct to roam is a quality and a driving force towards a therapeutic escape, a reset button that Art Route Blue generates for a life of mobility throughout the aging process.    

            In life’s mosaic of experiences & events, our greatest asset is the ability to venture beyond the set parameters of the present place and connect to the mystical stories that await between the lines.  Isn’t it ironic that The Artist draws out the words inside the Storyteller…And traveling through the ‘art of life’ is where my personal story shall come alive!  

Moreover, Next Page – Reflections of Trails End 2020 …

An investment in travel is an investment in yourself” ~ A fitting quote by travel blogger Matthew Karsten

AWAYS BE READY TO GO SOMEWHERE…

                        Seasons drastically change, and no matter how we try to resist, the prolonged Canadian winter is creeping upon us as the calendar turns.  Our annual September summer’s end RV road trip has faded into our rear view.  However, the memories remain to be ‘on a roll’ within the places and the faces of the people who are holding on tightly to the bounty of nature. Recreational activity (cycling & hiking) lead to a bevy of outdoor patios at cafes, coffee shops & roadhouses that serve and carry an energetic vibe.  Coffee is becoming a tasteful artwork, steeped with sweet conversation, and lightly sprinkled with a touch of soulful inspiration. These eateries along the roadbed are a lifeline for travelers, a place to share a homelike meal and recharge the energy for the ride back to camp.     Notwithstanding the boutiques & art galleries that instill the culture into the communities, adding value and balance into the art of ‘retail therapy’!  

            Traversing the lush sun kissed Okanagan Valley eastward along the Crowsnest Highway #3 through to the golden boundary country that transitions into the untouched splendor of the Kootenay Region.  Hospitality is an endless component here as history unfolds into the downtown Main Streets that characterize each township where linear communities are threaded into the local culture & folklore to meet & greet travelers as welcome guests.   

              On these dark days of autumn, I simply open my closet and a light reaches out to seemingly stitch the threads together into a dance set to a rhythm of time travel.   A fashionable sense of preparatory direction gives me the tools to enter a world of greatness, dressed to conquer and be transported to incredible places, for a glimpse just for a moment in the ‘corners of my mind’!   Armed with an inherent desire to travel draws an extended purpose for me to meet & greet like-minded folks who await along this hopeful journey.  Yes indeed, my readiness to travel is a sense of empowerment that’s reflected deeply into the ‘people, place & planet’ ingrained within my inner soul.   

            In closing, preparation for springtime is a new beginning of life on the road.  My passion for travel begins in my closet, a hemline of anticipation to find the perfect accessory for the new road ahead.  So, here’s to my fellow roadies, gather your travel ‘wish list’, pack for all seasons, fasten the seat belt, tighten the hat strap, and roll down the windows in pursuit of a sweet ride to somewhere else.  Feel the wanderlust and get ready to soak up new cultures for a pilgrimage of travel by the will of your heart. 

Excerpts of a Seasoned Traveler.

Lorrie,

THE SUNDAY SUNFLOWER STORY

A Multicolored Reflection of Light on Social Diversities

A Moving Narrative by Lorrie Fleming – Penned July 19, 2020

            Diversity in Society stands for freedom & equality in all people(s) that is deeply rooted and engrained within the “Soul of Sunflowers”!  Understanding that each individual flower (just like a person) is uniquely different and collectively equate to the whole garden of life.  Sunflowers are figurative pillars of power & purveyors of Art recognizing that everyone on the planet has value and such differences in cultural ideologies is the true soul of our society.    

            Today, the world mourns and pays tribute to John Lewis, a heroic champion of the civil rights movement, [prelude to Black Lives Matter] died July 18, 2020 at age 80.   Mr. Lewis is recognized as the Conscience of the Congress that led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in the USA.    In 2015 USA President Barack Obama bestowed honor to Mr. Lewis to observe and commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.  He stands as a testament of gallantry and a “Stalwart Sunflower in our Society”.  

            Standing amidst Sunflowers in the present day, let us remember the words spoken by Mr. John Lewis:  “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something”.  He continued to say.  “To do something.  Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say’?  We have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”  Such empowering and moving words of wisdom! 

            Lest we forget our Canadian feminist forerunners who advocated for women’s rights and focused on increasing their role in public life and the suffrage movement for voting rights.   The foregoing series of events transpired at a time when the Mother Road was in her prime.  Named in the classic novel [The Grapes of Wrath], Steinbeck called Route 66 The Mother Road because it beckoned to desperate migrants fleeing the dust bowl as they moved west in search of jobs during the depression of the 1930’s.

            In the following decades, the Highway took on mystic status as America’s Main Street.  Threaded into the ribbon of crossroads that carved the biodiversity of two nations, the framework of “The Sunflower Project” at Mile ‘0’ here in BC has etched a new Art path by launching the Sunflower as “Emblems of Discovery” in respect that all lives matter!   

            Words cannot express ample gratitude to the Art Community & the creatives for endowing balance into the color wheel of tonal palettes, dipping their brushes equally into the painted places of time.  To sum it up, Art & The COVID pandemic are global equalizers for humankind.  In solidarity, humanity will march to the beat of the choir in a “Symphony of Sunflowers” guiding the next generation to “the right side of history”.