Hiking Adventures, Photography

Where I Learned to Soothe My Soul

IMG_0725I’ve been privileged enough to get to travel to a few places.  Not nearly as many as I want to, but hopefully, there’s still plenty of time for such things.  One thing I have discovered though, is that I am blessed in where I live.  Nestled right between rivers, lakes, and mountains.  (I’m serious, they’re practically on all sides of me.)  And one of the most perfect places on earth is only a hop, skip, and a jump away.


Up there, on top of that mountain, overlooking the valley and it’s raging river; life’s problems just don’t seem quite so big.  Nothing does from up there actually, everything is quite small.  All you can hear is the river.  From certain spots, you can watch the hawks and an occasional eagle swoop down among the tree line in search of their next meal.



This is a place where the ugliness of world hasn’t yet reached.  It’s serene, blissful, and can absolutely just chase away every bit of the noise and static that tends to build up in one’s mind and soul over time.  I go there often, to empty myself of it all.  And each time something familiar I suddenly see in an unfamiliar way.  Something new speaks me to, for this mountain as old as it is, is still forever changing and teaching us to do the same.




Dear Children

IMG_6602I hope you fall down every now and then just so you remember how important it is to get back up and keep going.

I hope you feel left out sometimes and that it makes you want to keep someone else from ever feeling that way.

I hope there are times that you begin to think that boredom will swallow you whole, because that is when you learn to find your own adventures.

I hope you suffer the loss of friendships and relationships, and that it teaches you to nurture and fight for that which is worth keeping but that it also teaches you that sometimes it’s best to let go.

I hope you encounter difficult and impossible people, these are the folks that will test your character, that will make you choose to either be a weak person or a better person. (And I hope you choose well.)

I hope someone at some point tells you that you can’t do something and doesn’t believe in your abilities, and I hope you learn that they can’t determine your limits or capabilities, only you can do that.

I hope that sometimes you fail when you’ve tried hard to succeed, because failure teaches us how to succeed. It is in those moments that you learn how to become persistent, resilient, and hopefully a little bit tenacious.

I hope at least once in your life, you manage to travel in the wrong direction and get lost. There are far worse things in this life than being uncertain of the direction in which you are headed. (And sometimes its necessary to find your own way.)

I hope, dear children, that life is sometimes hard, frustrating, challenging, and that yes, you struggle from time to time. And I hope you know that in the midst of each and every single moment, I’m right there. Ready to help, to guide, and to seek the humorous and good in each difficult moment.

I hope each of these experiences teaches you that what will ultimately define you, is how you choose to handle them. I hope these lessons teach you to believe in yourself, to find the extraordinary in what others see as ordinary, to embrace who you are and the life that is yours to live.

Most of all, I hope you become decent human beings and genuine people. For that is the only thing I will ever hope for you to be “when you grow up”. Anything else you wish to become; I look forward to watching you discover and figure out as you go.