Hiking

The Little Things

In my search for simplicity I have learned to just let go.  It seems simple, no?  That's an understatement - which may be the key as to why so many of get sucked into this game of life.  In my experience along this journey, I have found that just letting go creates this push and pull within myself... a swirling vortex of confusion.  Duality.  While my journey may be sloppy and messy, it has been necessary none the less; the reward, becoming always present and noticing the little things in my new found time.

The little things, like nature.  We become so cumbersome in our day to day business and happenings that we don't really slow down to smell the roses.  Such a cliche, but oh so true!  Noticing the changing light on the buildings as we pass them by, the birds expanding and contracting shapes in the sky.  In a blink of an eye, there were pink blossoms on the trees, and today they are a brilliant green.  It feels like just yesterday I was noticing the small details in the cracks of ice, the frost tipped leafs and nettles, nestled in the grove of bark.  The frost has since melted, and brought life to spring.  Crisp air, the smell of fresh mowed grass, the cool rain pouring rainbows in the sky against sun rays.  Before, I was so busy just being busy that I passed these details by without even a notion.  I felt life sipping away from me at a velocity I had no reasoning with.

By slowing down, it allows me to breathe deeper, think clearer, and free up space for the little things.  Walking the dog turned from a tedious task that was disrupting my work flow to a welcomed break.  Going to bed feels like a retreat rather than signaling all the lose ends of the day to clutter my dream space.  Waking in the morning is a time of gratitude as I welcome the day, rather than overwhelming anxiety over the to do lists in my head.

We must give ourselves allowances in a time where we are on the internet searching for new ways to organize, and for the next gadget on the market that will surely "simplify your life!" . . . while we live in an age of convenience, it can become us - and overwhelmingly so.  It is a token of relief when we can allow ourselves the time to take it all in and really experience what we have and where we are at.  These moments won't last forever, and I want to allow myself the opportunity to hang on to the memories when they are gone.

I've started a garden with my son.  Yes, shocking - me!  Known for my lack of a green thumb, it currently consists of . . . drum roll please: Spinach.  Yes, that's right.  One. Pot. Of. Spinach. The little things.  Starting a garden (yes, I'm really going with "garden" here) really makes you stop and slow down.  There is something special about planting a seed in the dirt, watering it, and watching it sprout and blossom as it comes to fruition.  Like little children, we nourish our seedlings, and watch them grow into little people.

Just as the spinach, I've been watching my little boy grow.  In a matter of weeks his language has developed to another level.  At three this may not seem as exciting as a milestone; but it's special none the less.  He's asking questions about all kinds of things - and some of his questions make me really think before finding an answer.

It's in these moments where I wonder, how it is that we came to a place to hold so much experience - the experience to wonder like a child, and to find the answers in science and mathematics, becoming common knowledge.  It is fascinating, really.  Life, in general.  The questions he poses, where I may have given a simple answer in my exhaustion after work in the car on the way home from preschool, I now think about the knowledge I'm really feeding him and begin to wonder what it is that ignites that imagination.  I want to cherish those moments, that wonder.

The little things.  Caught up in work and schedules, appointments and meetings, internet searches and reading, cooking and cleaning, planning... to the very last little detail so that nothing can run astray from our expectations.  It's easy to lose sight of the little things that matter most.  The messy.  The tedious.  Even the ugly.  There's beauty in everything when you take the time to really pay attention.

Along this journey I've learned that part of letting go means to just. say. no.  Setting  boundaries that become your mantra.  Little steps I've taken to get here... working closer to home allows me to spend less time in traffic and on the road.  My shift pushed a little later allows me to really enjoy the morning and keep to my natural time, because I'm truly that night owl, no matter how hard I try to fight it.  Embracing challenges rather than fighting them; acceptance is key and sticking to personal priorities - allowing the rest to slide.  My house might be a mess, but it's also a sign that it's been well lived in.  My eyes are no longer heavy with sleep, my body thanking me as I take the time to remember to sit a little taller and breathe a little deeper.  Meditating at least once  a day, retreating to my place of serenity allowing me to balance my emotions and frustrations - we all have them.

At the end of the day, it's these little things that matter most.  Nourishing our body, mind, and soul leads to a healthier life, and a sense of fulfillment; rather than chasing a boundless goal.

Taking time to slow down and smell the roses has allowed me to see all the little things that has since, been the highlight of each and every day.  And as long as there's sight on these little matters, life feels enriched and sometimes enchanted.

They say that we photograph most, what we are afraid of losing.  And for me.. it's the little things.

Praesent Lacinia 01
Mushrooms 01
Praesent Lacinia 02
Glaciem Rugam
Mushrooms

Montem Ardere

As the sun was setting last Summer, I captured this shot of Mt. Rainier.  I'm extremely drawn to exploring this area; this highway is only open about 1/4 of the year due to road and weather conditions, so each year it holds something different and unique as the snow melts, revealing its new wonders each visit. I'm looking forward to what this year holds . . .

Montem Ardere 001
Montem Ardere 002
Montem Ardere 003
Montem Ardere 004

Spring is in the Air

With spring in full bloom, I ventured out to the marsh's of Lake Washington and around Seattle, and snapped some delicate shots that hold a dear spot in my heart.  I love how the light transcends through these photographs, and blushes in the champagne essence giving off that luster of Spring.

Fluffy Tufts

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I spent a day at the end of September after photographing my first wedding, taking my time driving from Eastern Washington back to Seattle, stopping at some of my favorite pastimes along the way.

One of my favorite spots in Washington happens to be a spot among the Pacific Crest Trail, where I spotted these fluffy guys basking in the sunset of the most picturesque evening.

It was so peaceful walking and meditating amongst these tufts, listening to the breeze.. and on the opposite sides of this crest, a great ravine, and a lake before Mt. Rainier {pictures to come in later posts}.

I am looking forward to returning this Summer for some backpacking trips.  This field of tufts was such a welcoming surprise, I can't wait to see what's beyond the bend of the trail during my next visit.

Central Cascade Nostalgia

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Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a sucker for a good hike!  Last Summer a friend and I took an invigorating wander in the Central Cascades of Washington, and while I was aware of the spectacular upper falls, which I have visited numerous times, we were bound for the lake at the end of this 7.2 mile trail.  We were surprisingly met with, what I can only describe as, one of the most serene visions I have experienced in my lifetime.

The granite slabs around these lower falls were just flourishing!  These photos really do not do justice to the spectacular beauty that surrounded us that day:

These falls were so refreshing to stand underneath, especially on the hike out on such a humid afternoon!  Images like this, that play with the sun, always remind me of the yesteryears of my childhood summers spent beneath the peek-a-boo shade of the trees in the front yard.