Sunday, December 30, 2018

So Long 2018: Savor the Moment

Colchuck Lake Trail, July 2018
Here we are again, bombarded with reflections on the year just passed. Often this conjures up memories of previous years, specific moments gone by in the river of time that flows swiftly onward.

A big holiday dinner shared with extended family many years ago came to mind recently. I distinctly remember thinking that day, probably for the first time: Treasure this happy day, in a few years some of these elders likely won’t be here anymore

More than a decade on, three of those elders and, prematurely, two in my generation have since passed away. So I do indeed treasure those memories of family and friends together at the table.

In 2018, I had a good Christmas. Nice dinner with friends on Christmas Eve. Visited family Christmas morning to exchange gifts. Then a lovely little hike in the Cascade foothills along a river to lush waterfalls, followed by Chinese dim sum in Seattle’s International District.  

Twin Falls, WA, December 2018

Jade Garden, Seattle,  WA

As I write this, it’s cold and raining outside, but my little basement office is warm and cozy. My aging and fragile cat is having a good day/week—she finished her breakfast, asked for more, and is now curled up on the shelf beside my desk while I work. I don’t think she’ll be here next Christmas. 

Formerly feral Tashi cat
I have work into the New Year (this is key for self-employed people). The knee I smashed into the pavement a couple days ago after tripping on a sidewalk crack and falling appears to not have suffered more than just bruising – it’s good to ski another day. 
 Crystal Mountain in the video below, January 2018

My middle class life is not extravagant, but it’s rich with my remaining family (that’s growing with the next generation), friends, and experiences.  

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, October 2018

Today I’m feeling the fleeting beauty of life, its poignancy. I have suffered, I have overcome, and I’m concerned about the future. But today, right now, it’s good. I am blessed. 

South Fork Snoqualmie River, December 2018
Jervis Inlet, B.C, July 2018
May the New Year bring you joy, laughs, and good health. May you find just enough, right now. Because this moment, after all, is everything and all that we truly have.

Deception Pass, WA, January 2018
Near Leavenworth, WA, June 2018

Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons! 

In between blog posts, visit Pacific NW Seasons on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram for more Northwest photos and outdoors news.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Holidays Pacific Northwest Style

With long, dark nights here in the Upper Left Corner USA (the Lower 48, apologies to Alaska), we celebrate with plenty of holiday lights and savor time outdoors.

While I love holiday gatherings with family and friends to enjoy good food, cheer, and maybe music, for me it's really about the outdoors (surprise!). Whether it's on skis, snowshoes, or just walking, fresh air and exercise keeps us energized and out of hibernation mode (which is easy to fall into with only about 8 hours of daylight this time of year).

When in Seattle, early 1.2-mile walks to tea/coffee with the regulars at Preserve & Gather in the rain, frosty chill, or occasional clear skies get me going on dark mornings. In early December, we walk around Green Lake in north Seattle for the annual Pathway of Lights.

Sunrise walk to tea.
But I and many here are drawn to the mountains. Although we rarely get snow in the lowlands west of the Cascades anymore, we can get our snow fix in just an hour or two drive away.

Icicle Creek Canyon walk.

Early morning brought several inches of fresh snow outside Leavenworth recently.

So we head to the hills, lush forests, or ocean beaches, and get outside.

Frosty winter morning, Washington coast
Hurricane Ridge

Then we escape inside for a hot drink and perhaps a good book by a fire, which is very hygge (as the Danish would say.)

For me, it's tea.

Maybe you like it busy and bustling, or maybe you prefer quiet. Whatever, I hope your find your own authenticity amidst the noise this season. 

And, if you're a true Northwesterner at heart like me, I hope you find yourself outside as much as possible.

So here's wishing you and yours a happy holiday season. Holiday cheers!

Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons! 

In between blog posts, visit Pacific NW Seasons on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram for more Northwest photos and outdoors news.