Monday, July 9, 2012

This last year, we started walking our dog on the weekends at a place called 1,000 Acres.
It's about 15-20 minutes from my home, nestled in the Columbia Gorge.
This wonderful place is acres and acres of wilderness area and walking trails.
What makes it even more special is this area is an off-leash, dog friendly park.
The entire place.
We love it.

Yesterday, I woke up and knew I needed to walk my dog, Redford.
Generally, I take him for a walk to the park in my neighborhood.
But I wanted more this time.
It was the weekend and I wanted a change of scenery.

This was the first time I had taken this walk by myself.
This first time I had considered going to this beautiful place since "the day" that my life changed.
I had a little internal battle with myself - was it worth driving for a morning walk?
Did I want to go there alone?
Was it going to conjure up memories and make my day difficult?

I make a concious decision that I would not sacrifice my happiness.
I loaded Redford up and we headed out to 1,000 Acres.

Anyone who says dogs don't remember has never been around a dog.
There is a bridge that we drive over that marks the transition between "city" and the Columbia Gorge.
Once we begin to cross the bridge,
Redford perks up, a smile comes across his face, the tail starts wagging and he paces back in forth in my van.
He knows where we are going and what is to come.
Pure JOY!
It had been raining most of the night so the parking lot was empty.
The sky was overcast, but the air was warm.
This was such a beautiful day and something my spirit needed.

As I walked, I realized I hadn't been there since all the vegetation had filled in.
The last time I was there, Spring was in the air -
but the branches on the trees were still bare; buds swelling but not yet opened.

It was if I was seeing this place for the first time. . .
shades of green had replaced the golds, tans and browns.

the pathways seemed to be leading me into a magical world;

 Daisies stood tall, while the leave and grasses were bathed in the morning dew and rain, the moisture making everything glisten;

 they seemed to be saying "good morning and welcome";

Thistles were standing guard at over 7 feet tall;

The meadow was spotted with bright yellow wildflowers;

And on a less poetic note . . .see the giant mud puddle in front of the wild flowers?
Redford became intimately acuainted with it. He splashed through it and every other one he could locate.
And came home a muddy mess!

And throughout my walk - I only encountered about 4 other people.
It was if I had the entire place to myself.
A perfect set up for mediation.
I felt the stress and busy-ness of the weak melt away and I entered into a timeless place.
I found myself smiling as I watched the joy of Redford run through the fields and the water.
I marveled at the artwork of Mother Nature.

I am so grateful to live in an area where I can escape into the wilderness in a matter of minutes.
I emerged from my walk not feeling sadness or depair at being there alone-
but instead, I felt joy, light, and happiness.
When I climbed back into my car - a smile was affixed to my face and I was ready to move into the next phase of my day . . .and my new week.

And on a business note . . .
this coming weekend is the Sandy Mountain Festival.
If you are in the area, come by and see me.
Look for the booth with lots of color!


Giggles said...

Beautiful photos Laurie! Nice adventure for you and Redford, save the muddiness of course!

I find the greenery enhanced and exceptionally lush this year! No matter where I drive all of nature is so vibrant....I actually find it thrilling.

Glad you found some great joy on the weekend!! Have a wonderful week!

Hugs Giggles

An'Angelia Thompson said...

When I look at your gorgeous photos, I know that one of the things we share in common is our attachment to and commune with nature. How fortunate our we to have "eyes to see" His great creation!

An'Angelia Thompson said...

When I look at your gorgeous photos, I know that one of the things we share in common is our attachment to and commune with nature. How fortunate are we to have "eyes to see" His great creation!