We all have old friends from high school that we haven't spoken to in years. Many of these we will probably never see again, except for when we scroll past their latest post on our social media feed. A lot of the time, that's simply enough. That is normal and okay and how things should be. Recently, I started noticing Sabina on Instagram and became so impressed with her yoga prowess, her love of plants, her pretty vegan food, the huge windows in her apartment that pour light over her succulents...I began looking forward to each new photo, and eventually realized that she has a website! Her friends and family loved her recipes so much that she created the site to make it easier to share her culinary concoctions.
The photographer in me started to brainstorm a photoshoot with Sabina. She's gorgeous, is totally talented at yoga, and has a website where she might want to use my photos...sounds like a win-win, right? Luckily, she agreed! (And was somehow not weirded out by my very random Instagram direct message.) We decided to meet at Mackworth Island early on a Saturday to meander the trails and beaches, and then polish the morning off with a quick stop at our favorite greenhouse, Skillins.
One of the first things I learned about Sabina that morning: she will try to tell you that she is awkward in front of the camera. Don't believe her. I think these pictures as proof that she is exactly the opposite of awkward. Perhaps her level of comfort was rooted in the fact that we were completely immersed in nature. As a self-professed lover of and advocate for the Earth, Sabina (also known as Dirt Girl) certainly feels at home in green spaces. There is a sense of connectedness, of calm.
While I would say that Sabina and I were friends in high school, I don't think either of us would claim that we were close. We had different circles of friends that would occasionally rub shoulders, and that was nearly the most of it. Waking up that Saturday to meet her, I didn't know quite what to expect. How has she evolved? What is her life like now? I was happy to find Sabina's personality largely unchanged: funny, kind, easygoing. She now likes essential oils (in her own words, "Of course."), and had donned a combination of lavender and patchouli that day. And then I learned: she is fearless.
A simple example of this fearlessness was her willingness to lay on wet seaweed, go barefoot on the forest floor, do a headstand on a rocky beach - you name it and she was up for it. Beyond that, Sabina shared with me how she came to really follow her passion for yoga. While studying interior design in college, she went to a Bruins hockey game where a large pole fell and struck her on the head. After suffering a terrible concussion, she found it too painful to continue work that involved looking at a computer screen all day (such as her beloved interior design). Since the accident, Sabina has carved out a life of happiness and success for herself by pursuing her interests: yoga, healthy vegan eating, and advocating for the Earth (I was completely inspired by her Simple Ways To Take Action & Save Our Earth post. Her tone is never condescending, but rather it's accessible, understanding, and encouraging). I can't imagine how scary it must have been to go through such a terrible accident, and then have to change career paths as a result of it.
As we said goodbye, I realized that Sabina is truly someone that I admire. It was so wonderful catching up with her. If you are looking for some delicious, down-to-earth vegan recipes, I highly recommend signing up for her newsletters. And the next time you scroll past an old friend on your news feed, maybe take the chance to say hello and see how they are doing!