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)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Twin Falls Hike and ordinary beauty

This afternoon I went to Twin Falls. It's a simple hike and close to home. Mostly I save it for the winter when there are few people. And when I first started out there were too many people, I thought I had made a mistake. But once I started climbing above the water it got quiet and peaceful. I've been wanting the feel of old growth and waterfalls you get both of those on this walk. You also move through some lovely deciduous aspen and maple areas. You see and hear the river and come upon these amazing boulders that are covered with moss and almost the size of my house. It's magical, walking on the trail and suddenly there is a massive boulder or tree. I guess I'd forgotten how much I love this hike.

Coal was moving slow which annoyed me at first but then I moved back into naturalist mode. I was looking and listening and really noticing things. Nothing spectacular happened. No wildlife sightings. But it doesn't matter. Sometimes the beauty is right there. It's hidden in the ordinary. Moss wrapping around trees. Tree roots wrapping around stumps. Sometimes I'm a little girl again, looking for Ents

I like feeling small. I like being reminded of the time scale.

The Big Leaf Maple, bending over the trail as it reaches for light, feels like it has fur, it's so moss covered. In the picture Coal looks tiny and he's a big mutt. It gives a sense of scale

The old growth tree is massive. I knew I couldn't capture it in a picture. I can't show the size you have to be there. It's more than size, it's the stillness and lighting. The darkness of the forest comforts me too. It feels like home.

And the power of water is something undeniable and awe inspiring. It's summer, there is barely a trickle of water over the falls, but it was enough to create a cool breeze. It's enough to draw people to gaze at it's hypnotizing flow. It's enough to sooth. And then you look at the rocks. You see what the water has done over time. How it's worn groves and traced paths. The water has even created a cave at the bottom of the falls. I always think "How long did it take" and then imagine the the rock being worn away, one grain of sand at a time.

It's felt like Fall for a few weeks to me; just the beginning. I've been noticing the cool mornings, leaves starting to change and shorter days. There were leaves along the trail and more raining down as I walked. Dim and brown they probably have as much to do with the dry winter and summer as the season, but there was one leaf that caught my eye. I carried it back with me and it will sit on my dashboard and remind me of ordinary beauty and that all living things cope with loss.

Autumn leaves whisper
Change is inevitable
A bright swirl


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