The most amazing thing happens in late Spring – all my neighbors disappear! When I look out my windows I see beautiful leafy green trees, blooming shrub,s and pots filled with colorful flowers. If I squint and look hard enough, through the trees – there in the distance I can see the outline of a house or two – the hidden neighbors!
After the long, stark harshness of winter, I’m ready for the softness that nature provides. All the hardscapes of my neighborhood fade into the background – the rows of houses, the concrete sidewalks, the paved roads, the street lights … all give way to Mother Nature.
When we designed our garden over 16 years ago, I told my husband I wanted the upper deck off our kitchen to become my tree house. He laughed until he realized I was serious. We planted 13 trees in our residential back yard that first year. And now, I am pleased to report that I have my “tree house” – at least the feel of one from my back deck.
When we built the garden shed I asked if he could make it look like a cottage – he rolled his eyes and then, like the wonderful husband he is, he created a backyard cottage with a small porch, a windowed door, and a flower box. Did I mention I’m married to an Arborist and Master Gardener? I’m a lucky girl! I’m the idea person and he’s the one who makes it all happen!
My love of the outdoors isn’t limited to my garden. I love to hike and get up into the mountains. I am blessed to live in the Pacific North West near the Cascade Mountain Range. Within an hour, I can be in a rain forest or at the base of a glacier on Mt. Rainier. The views are breathtaking! The air is so sweet and clear.
The sound of the rivers rushing down the mountain, the spray from their waterfalls – I am mesmerized, spellbound by the sights, smells, and feel of nature.
There is one place, though, that fills my soul more than any other and that is the ocean. I took this picture of my Inuksuks (rock art) from the beach at Kalaloch Lodge on the Pacific Coast of Washington State. My husband once asked me, as I stood to stare out over the ocean, “What are you looking at?”
“Everything!” I replied. I see the entire universe. I see God when I look out over the ocean. It’s vastness, it’s power, so fierce – it fills my soul.
And, so my friends, take a walk through the woods, or a stroll on the beach – find what fills your soul – get out there and breathe some fresh air!