The End of Fall

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I think one of the most beautiful things about nature is its sense of grandeur. Standing before a waterfall or a mountain or laying underneath the stars can remind you of how small you are. But there is another part of nature; her incredible (oftentimes minuscule) detail that we overlook far too often. For some reason having a camera in hand really forces me to appreciate nature in its entirety. I love looking for the small things, the way the fallen leaves sit in a blanket of straw or how moss on a rock makes strange shapes; it all intrigues me. I’m sitting here trying to put it all into words and I have to surrender because no one can say it better than Hopkins:

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

 

And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
-God’s Granduer
Gerard Manely Hopkins
Thanks to my dear friend Jen for a day of exploring, great conversation, laughter, and coffee. And truly horrible small town postcards.
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Slow Down

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Happy Saturday. There’s lots of blankets and coffee and candles and all around relaxing going on in our house right now. Sometimes the weekends can actually be more stressful than the weeks themselves, do you know what I mean? There’s so much pressure to do something fun and new and exciting and trendy and if we don’t do any of those things it can make me feel like we missed out. Truth is, those things hardly ever make for a satisfying weekend together. I forgot how great it feels to just be still, to slow down, to not give in to pressure to “have the best weekend ever.”

I am looking forward, however, to hiking on Monday (because this weekend is a long one for me). One of my closest friends, Jen, and I will be taking a mini day trip to Ohiopyle State Park. Since moving to Pittsburgh, Ohiopyle has become a little getaway from the city. I’m really craving a day of walking in the woods and catching up with my friend before she moves back to Philadelphia.

Until then, I’ll be soaking up this quiet and lazy weekend at home.

 

 

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Wyoming In Spring

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Wyoming.

I never would have expected to have such a deep love for this place. My husband and I spent a few days driving through Yellowstone this past spring.  Coming from a long, cold, and gray city winter it felt like entering into a  new world. Bison roamed the hills and rams made their way over grasslands, heads down, constantly grazing. We stopped on the side of the road and watched a black bear and her cubs climb over dead, fallen trees. Ice caps took their time melting away into the river gorge.

The pace of life was slow. There was no hurry to get somewhere, no traffic to slow us down (other than the occasional bison blocking the road, but I’ll take that over a slow-moving city bus any day), no agenda, no pressure. The air was crisp, almost like fall. At night we could hear the howl of coyotes instead of the rumble of trucks driving past our home.

City life can take its toll. There are benefits for sure…but oftentimes the pros seem to eventually turn into cons. I find myself sorting through these photos and wishing I could walk outside and see the mountains we left behind in Wyoming. But I also wonder…would I eventually be lonely? Have I lived in the city too long? Wouldn’t I miss my neighborhood with the kids playing basketball down the street and the people who address strangers as “Sweetie”?

Perhaps.

But those mountains keep tugging at my heart.

 

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