Today's Everyday Thankfuls are just gorgeous. As in, That's it - I am packing up and moving to Oregon. Tomorrow.
Jessica and I met in college and we quickly bonded over many things - love of literature, love of writing, and a deep, deep appreciation of Nature. (And if I remember correctly, I think there was some bonding over Jack Johnson, too...) The images and words she shares today are magic. (She quotes John Muir!)
Thank you, Jessica, for sharing. My ever-loving-Nature-girl-soul deeply appreciates it.
Photos & Text by Jessica
What am I thankful for? A deep connection to place. All that rain creates. The wildness of nature. The restoration of wonder. Cascades, both literal ones of water and metaphorical ones in life.
“Wildness is a necessity.”— John Muir, Our National Parks
“In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.”—John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
There are very few scents that are engrained in my memory, especially ones that take me back to a place of comfort and nostalgia. One of the only scents that I remember vividly from my childhood is the smell of freshly fallen rain. It is a complex, visceral scent that is both invigorating and comforting, almost as if it wraps itself around you.
As a child, I distinctly remember playing just after or during the rain, especially when the water would rise so high that it would run over a section of our road. I was fascinated by the way it flowed over the road, through the trees, into a pond, and then, if it rained enough, it would overflow through my neighbor’s yard into the next field. I don’t know that I would have predicted that I am still that way today, but I feel at home when the rain falls. Some of my favorite memories have occurred during or just after a rain storm.
Later in life when I was afforded the opportunity to move to the Pacific Northwest, I welcomed it. It only made too much sense. Having lived in Southwest Missouri my whole life, moving was the biggest change I could have made. While it is hard to be so far away from family and friends, I knew I needed a deeper connection to nature and place.
While others find the thought of frequent clouds and rain oppressive, I find it magical. The cloud blanket keeps us insulated, and the rain washes away the dirt and grime. Sure, my pant legs and socks are wet more often than I would prefer, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Rain brings life. Rain refreshes us. Most importantly, rain is the source of our sustainability.
Then, there are the mountains. I never would have predicted how much I would come to love these mountains. I don’t really even have words for Mt. Hood, but I know that I love her.
When there is an abundance of water and drastic change in elevation, cascades are created. Cascades are the best example of juxtaposition there is. You have to have great change to have great beauty. The water must travel a tumultuous path and tumble into the abyss to create the waterfalls that we find so beautiful.
I too took a plunge in leaving the place I grew up to be here, and it hasn’t been without its difficulties. I see the world differently now, both from the hard life lessons I’ve had to face since I’ve been here and the grand nature that I’ve experienced.
That’s the thing, though. Just as waterfalls can’t exist without a harsh, unforgiving landscape, our greatest experiences will often be accompanied by our greatest struggles. If we don’t embrace change, then we may miss out on some of the most meaningful experiences of our lives. I know this place has restored my sense of wonder, something I haven’t had since childhood, and I’ll be forever grateful for that.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann