2016

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

nature

After the Rain

Were there a way to capture the splendor of the forest after the rain...

An unexpected summer storm--cooling down the sizzle of August, dousing the dusty walking paths of my daily excursions, and bringing all of my senses alive--

Dressed in long leggings and a jacket (in August!), I ventured out with my sweetie and my sweet dog to savor the post-storm beauty on a walk through the woods. Immediately I was intoxicated by the smells! I am almost at a loss for words to describe the richness of the varied aromas permeating the cool, fresh air. Mountain misery, wet and sticky, released a pungent sage brush-like flavor; damp Madrone leaves, knocked to the ground by the wind, now gifted me with deliciousness; wet earth smelling so rich and fertile...

And the visuals, oh my, so dazzling. Water droplets clinging to Cedar boughs and catching the sunshine to create prisms of color; dull, brown bark of the Evergreens now vibrant as sepia, burnt sienna, and caramel; pristine white clouds, full and fluffy, against the deep blue summer sky; and the moss, the iridescent greens of which exist only in nature--so luscious and inviting, that I felt compelled to reach out to feel the texture, which was as soft and wet and yummy as it looked.

Speaking of touch, the tactile stimulation was spectacular. Fresh, clean air, cool to my skin, ruffling my hair with the gentle breeze; soft earth underfoot; my hand cupped warmly in my sweetheart's hand; feeling love and sharing in this miracle of nature.

The sounds were just as delightful--birds singing from their hearts, seeming to celebrate the storm's end; water droplets falling to the ground; tree limbs swaying in the breeze; dogs barking from afar; and Grace's charging feet chasing her ball...

I felt as refreshed by our walk than did the forest seem--after the rain. Home again, heart filled with gratitude and a quiet joy for the simple beauty of life.

Notes from Glacier National Park

I have seen more wildflowers today than on perhaps any other day in my life. Reverence is the word I can use to describe my emotional response to the exquisite natural beauty I witnessed today. As I was immersed in the splendor of Glacier, sharing the marvelous scenery with my husband John, I ran out of superlatives to describe my wonder. What a truly mindful experience. Pure sensory stimulation. And what a gift to slow down enough to smell, to feel, to listen, to observe...I wish I could find words to share the quality of the smells in the air, but alas I cannot. Suffice it to say that the freshness, the green-ness, the sweetness, was so raw, so new, it was divine beyond description. The tactile stimulation was also virtually indescribable: warm sun on skin, cool shade bringing goosebumps, gentle breeze ruffling through my hair, cold water on my toes... Oh, the sounds--birdsong the likes of which I have not heard, rushing water, swaying trees, and silent forests--all of it joyful in my ears. And, the visuals: now I am back to the flowers, the meadows, the rivers and lakes, the steep hillsides, Rocky Mountain goats, Bighorn sheep, all living in the incredibly thick forests. How blessed I am to be here, in the midst of the beauty of life.

Moss

I dig moss. Not with a trowel, but with my heart. What a tenacious plant! Moss practically dies off in the summer heat, becoming a dried up, brown-gray, dormant plant, but once the rains start again in the fall, ahhh, moss comes into it's own. It's a miracle to behold; as the plant fills with water, it plumps up, turns an exquisite green, then dazzles the universe with indefatigable beauty.

In my reverence for nature and living entities, moss has always earned a high level of respect from me. Taking daily walks in the woods, I keep track of the status of the numerous varieties that grow on the tree trunks and rocks near my house. The abundant precipitation of the fall and winter brings out the luscious texture, iridescent color, and moist plumpness of this odd and amazing plant.

Do you know what I mean?

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