Silver Falls

When I heard it was to be another beautiful day a week ago Thursday I  messaged a friend who recently moved to Oregon: did she want to go with me to the Silver Falls State Park?

It’s not often I take an entire day off from work so the day of fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and nature was a much needed change of pace and rejuvenation.

South Falls
The Canyon Trail taking us behind South Falls
The slant of sun on the moss and Autumn foliage.

A number of times I swim in that pool, below when I was young. Cold and  refreshing!A spindle and cotton accompanied the walk.
Except there was too much to see!

Approaching Lower South Falls. Stepping stones for dry passage behind L.South Falls. 
Someone in a white jacket easing their way across the stones behind the falling curtain.
Grateful for State Parks
Grateful for health to enjoy the walk
Grateful to live in an area with so much natural beauty!

Grateful that while the clock points to almost 10pm, it will be set back an hour so I’m really going to bed at 9.

Find Me

While processing and mailing orders that had come in since Friday afternoon, a song came into my head. Normally I like working in silence but the song was persisting  with only partial bits of the lyrics weaving in and out of the tune  so I looked it up on YouTube then listened to it over and over.

Each time I woke up during the night the song was there, as it has been throughout the day and even now.

I had a dental check-up this morning. Overall it was encouraging. The dentist saw no need for any work at this time. Once the implant is finally finished (my understanding is 2 more steps: the next in 2 weeks for the final prep for the actual “tooth” piece and then I’ll see him to be fitted with the tooth.) The two other teeth that have been feeling a bit out of sorts he strongly believes are reacting to the space created by the extraction of the molar in June and that they’re shifting a bit. Once the implant is done and the empty space filled they should stop shifting and be fine.
I am grateful!

Setting out on a late morning walk, the sun shone brightly on the birch tree opposite the end of our lane. The arch of yellow leaves has been framing the back-way alley path that leads to the Post Office, and the skeletal oak tree beyond the brambles at the far end of the field for the past several weeks, soon they will release their tenacious grip on the branches and float to the ground.
“Find me grateful,
Find me thankful,
Find me on my knees…”

Turning to walk up the hill the sight of the silver edged thundercloud stopped me in wonder at the changing, shining beauty. Quickly I grabbed the camera. Even in those few seconds the cloud on the right was rapidly closing what had been a big blue expanse when I first noticed it. The blue space had almost disappeared while the silver lining was intensifying in its brilliance the band was fast narrowing.
A split second later, to my vast surprise – the sun!
By the time we were walking back home thunder was rolling in the southwestern distance. All afternoon it rumbled closer, then overhead, continuing its rumbling journey northeastward into the evening. A gentle thunderstorm without loud crashing booms, or visible lightning.

“Find me dreaming,
Find me singing,

Find me lost in Your grace.”
Find Me by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser

Tenacity

The large fig tree in our neighbors yard has late ripening figs. The hot, dry summer followed by a mild autumn seemed to prolong their ability to ripen until mid-November. Some years they’ve been a delicious treat. Just looking at one it was easy to tell if it was ripe or not.

This year the figs never really ripened. Sure, they dropped off the tree to make great messes on the ground. The bluejays slashed bites out of them but didn’t gather in the tree in the great numbers as they do some years.

I spied my neighbor raking and shoveling the splattered figs so went through the gate the guys had installed between our properties in the hopes that they were finally good to eat.
They were not. Figs in season but not edible.
Figs clinging to bare branches high against the sky.  Looking at the tree was a reminder that all things have their cycles of goodness and rest, buffeted at times by heat and drought but when roots are sunk deep, hope is present.

In front of my daughter’s house, which is much higher in elevation and exposed to the winds, is this vibrant plant bursting with flowers and colors! She planted a tiny little plant early in the summer and in the past few weeks it exploded with growth and color.
Grateful for
– life lessons which abound in nature
– tenacious hope

 

Memories

Ever have one of those weeks where everything took more effort, time and energy than they should have?

That’s been the familiar theme this week. No matter how much I’ve tried to be organized, focused, intentional – nope. Along with a great deal of praying, one thing that’s helped me to completely sink into despair and anger has been practicing gratitude this week. It has been a valuable discipline.

This morning brought another long check list. As the day progressed I kept falling further and further behind on the self-imposed schedule; a seething anger started to consume all rationality.
Anger at no one or anything in particular. Just plain angry.

Except. The day was beautiful! Clear blue skies after haze and smoke brought on the winds from the California wildfires; warm sunshine that chased away the frosts of dawn. Hardwood trees still decked in bright autumn finery.

Driving home along the ridge from my daughter’s place the view drew my attention and memories. A couple of times I pulled off the road to soak in the sight, stepping through the view into the past memories.
For a sense of perspective of the size, zoom in and you’ll see the power lines & towers crossing the canyon.

Between ages 11 – 13 my family lived on the other side of this canyon. A few times we hiked down into the canyon to Silver Creek. We’d pack a lunch and set off through the back pasture, past grass fields then into the forest and down a small road that snaked through tall fir trees until reaching a small field and the creek where we ate swam, ate lunch, and skipped rocks until it was time to trudge back home.

A view of Mt Hood in the distant eastern horizon. Picture taken about a mile down the road from the one above showing the same power lines coming up out of the canyon.
From the farm we had access to fields very similar to those pictured above. (this picture shows an area about 2 miles from where we lived.) I have wonderful memories of dashing across the fields (during off-seasons when we were allowed!) at a mad gallop. We also learned to ski on those hills during the heavy snowstorm of ’69 when there was four feet of snow on the ground for several weeks. With two older brothers often leading the way we knew no bounds in our exploration of the countryside. As long as there were no closed gates we traveled far and wide. By the time I was thirteen my two friends and I on our horses explored even further afield.

Happy memories and the present beauty seeped into my soul, slowly easing out the splinters of anger.

The anger dissipated, leaving me thankful.

Grateful for
     – wonderful childhood memories
– a beautiful drive
– spending a bit of time with daughter and granddaughter
– a home raised chicken in the freezer.

Walk with me Wednesday

It’d been a long time since my neighbor and I walked around the field at the top of Grandview. I love this view across the Cascades with a light fog blurring the distant hills. One of the singles destined for a three-ply yarn was completed during the walk.
Seeing how quickly the leaves fade and fall from day to day at this time of the year reminds us that we’re in the last half of Autumn. Still, the hope of coming seasons is tangible in the newly planted crop. With only 2 leaves on each budding plant we couldn’t decipher what was recently planted. My guess is broccoli which is often harvested in January in this area. Jessice thinks it might be a cover crop such as clover. How do these tender plants manage the coming freezing temperatures?

As we came down the hill a ray of sunlight pierced the clouds and lit up the clump of maple trees across the valley; the fir covered ridge behind them shrouded by the fog.

Grateful for
– another lovely walk
– an unexpected opening that led to a fresh haircut
– a serene day

Splendor of clouds

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere I’ve looked at clouds that way.
(Lyrics from Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell)

During our walk looking at the changing splendor of the clouds my neighbor and I mused if our Creator enjoys arranging the clouds from time to time. All these pictures were taken within the span of an hour’s walk.
The first picture above was the last one to be taken as the storm moved to the north of us.

Grateful for:
– The ever changing, fascinating clouds.
– The sudden cessation of and 8am downpour just before heading out the door to walk this morning.
– Warm temperatures this week.
– Finishing the wristlets.
– An understanding husband.