9.19-21.15: KATIE JOY NELLIS

"Been hula hooping and praying. I finally learned how to hula hoop in high school, and have been doing it ever since."

I met Katie Joy while studying abroad in Italy. She was a part of our little program and was the gentlest of souls, writing beautiful poems and songs in the courtyard about the wildly overgrown park we all loved at the edge of the town and was also the one who would bring a harmed bird to our apartment balcony in hopes that it would be revived and fly away.

She has taught me, and continues to teach me and others around her how to be present and simple and kind - all major things lacking in our current modern state of being. But even moreso what I appreciate about her is that rather than just being "sweet" for "sweet's sake", she has a refreshing self-awareness and grasp on the world around her.

Do yourself a favor and listen to her enchanting voice on her Bandcamp here , check out some of her stunning paintings on her website here or settle into her poems on her blog here.

And in the meantime, walk through some of the Pennsylvania countryside with her: