Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Starting a new blog

In my last post I talked about not posting in this blog. I really doubted I would post here again. It felt like an ending. I've long struggled with with this blog would be and what this blog could be. Sometimes I dream very big, and while that dreaming is fun, it can hamper me from enjoying what is. I started this with the idea of it being a sort of naturalist journal and ended writing about love of dogs.

You'll find a reoccurring theme with me. I believe that life is a journey. We don't really know where that journey will take us and even when we think our path is clear, we often take detours and stop in unexpected places. I guess I feel the need to share my journey. Perhaps it's vanity but I hope some of it is a desire to spread the sense of wonder I so often feel and to make connections with the larger world. Words and blogging also give me a map of where I've been and can remind me of the direction I want to move.

When I created my blog I called it "Simple Gifts". That is important. I've gotten very caught up in expectations, when what I wanted to focus on was the magical moments in life. I've worried about what a naturalist would write. I've worried about scientific content. I've wondered if I could ever be considered a writer of photographer. I think a lot. I worry. I want to make this world a better place but I'm overwhelmed by the myriad of problems. I constantly wish I could do more, but find myself, like so many others, limited. So, I'm starting a new blog. It will build on the lessons I learned here. It will focus on something I can do. I know how to celebrate life. I can remind others to look at the sunset or feel the wind in their face.

My new blog is very much a work in progress, just as I am. I will slowly be adding poetry that I've written. I will write and post pictures. My goal is to share what I can in a moderately polished fashion. Heh, we'll see if that's too lofty a goal. Will I come back here to Simple Gifts? Perhaps. I can see me coming here to brag about Schmoozer or write about the details of a trip.
And here, I won't worry about polish. Another important lesson I've learned, crafting something I'm proud of is worthwhile but being able to cut loose and just let myself be is vital.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Memories and love

I haven't really been writing much here. I could use the excuse of it being winter, but it is still a time filled with wonder and awe for me. I have gotten out. I've had those quiet, magical moments. I could say my interests have shifted and that would be closer to the truth. There is a more powerful reason. This is a place where my memories live. If you read back through what I've written, perhaps you will find several themes. There is the joy and thankfulness I feel at being an observer of this wonderful, natural world. There is the story of my journeys and adventures. There is another story, I had no idea I was writing. I sometimes accuse my friends of being "mooshy". I'm not someone who will read a romance and I like to pretend I'm fierce, but I've been writing a love story of sorts. Oh sure, I'm certainly being a bit corny, but isn't there a bit truth in most comedy?

Coal and I were together for nearly 14 years. He was my friend and companion. Someone I know described him as my partner which I thought was funny word choice for a dog. Perhaps he was wiser then I. I loved that dog deeply and completely. He shared my life and yes, he was a partner in my adventures. There's a part of me that wants to apologize for speaking so, of "just a dog". I am sure there are some that would not understand. I have called this journal Simple Gifts and what is the greatest gift of all? It's the gift of love. It's a powerful gift and I can not deny or disclaim it.

This journal holds so many memories. At times I've looked back trying to figure out when I visited somewhere or where I saw something. There in the words and descriptions is Coal. Even when he's not mentioned directly (which was rare), his loving presence runs through my experiences creating the shape and depth of what I remember. I've been out this winter, walking with those memories. I've been surprised at how hard it has been to visit the familiar places. Each time I return somewhere I realize I shared the place with my trusted companion and I feel his loss. I think that's why, after Coal died, I focused so hard on the Wonder Pup when I did come here to write and share pictures. I haven't been able to write about my outings, because the story is still being shaped by Coal.

I'm not sure if I'll come back to this journal. Perhaps this will be an ending of sorts. I know that if I come back, I'll be telling a slightly different story. Each of us (human, canine and other living creatures) must make our own journey in life. We all have different stories to tell. Some raise children and build families, others work tirelessly for the cause they believe in. I still hold tight to the simple gifts like the sound of a woodpecker or a reflection in a mud puddle. Of course, one of the most precious gifts to me is the love a human and dog can share. I'm building a new partnership now. Schmooze the wonder pup is 8.5 months old and we are creating our own memories. That's where I will leave this, whether I come back to this particular journal or not, I am at a new beginning. That is something I can rejoice in.

Schmoo and I discover the joy of swimming
(AKA, lots of pictures of the Wonder Pup)

I'm ready! Please throw the stick!

I can get it!

I can swim!

I got it!

That was fun, lets do it again!

Woo hoo here I go

That was a big stick!

Big sticks are kind of hard to hold onto

This place is great, I'm swimming far!

Am I dry yet?