Karen is hosting Spiritual Journey Thursday this month. She asked us to write about virtue and sent us an extensive list of virtues. When I scanned Karen's list, I found several were apropos for the experience I wanted to share. So if you find yourself needing to let go of your cares and worries, nothing can beat the contentment and joyfulness of spending time in the glorious creations of God manifest in our natural world. Throw in the energy, motivation, zest, enthusiasm and passion of my hiking companions and you're sure to walk away with a renewed feeling of calmness, serenity, centeredness, peace, and gratitude.
He's almost 7 weeks old. He logged his first hike this week. He slept through almost every step.
We took a quick detour to see the bridge over the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River.
Our walk through the parking lot to the trailhead netted our first wildlife sighting.
With a four year old and a two year old (and the baby) in tow, we intentionally planned a short hike. We'd hike a half mile in and then return to enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back home.We paused often to look around, to pick up sticks, and to summit rocks. We listened to the birds, the sound of pine needles falling (you can hear them), and the rushing sound of the river.
At the halfway point we paused for trail mix and a compass lesson with Grandpa. Big brother pointed out the giant leaves just like the ones we saw once at the park back home. When middle brother found a dried twig with pine needles that became an imaginary spider, big brother insisted on backtracking in search of one of his own. We failed to find one and I spent the rest of the hike scanning the trail for him. Nothing compared to his squeals of delight when he found one all by himself just before we arrived at the picnic table.
By this time, baby brother was awake, so he and Mom headed to the van for lunch. The wind had picked up a bit and middle brother was ready for the jacket he had refused while we hiked. Big brother was so cold that he added the comfort of Grandpa's puffy jacket to his jacket. And Grandpa, always prepared, retrieved his second jacket from the van.
When Mom emerged from the van ready for her lunch, Grandpa and I happily took turns with baby brother who was enthralled by the green trees, the blue sky, and the gentle caresses of the wind.
As we began our return journey home, we were captivated by the mother deer who herded her twins across the road just in front of us, only to have one dash back across the road. We felt blessed that our adventure had included an adult to look out for each child!
And we made one stop on the way home: to check out the low water crossing with vented stones and a culvert (which Jack correctly named because there are culverts in Dragons of Blueland). The creek bed was completely dry (evidence of our lack of rain this summer).
I am forever grateful for the opportunity to share life with these little ones and experience their wonder and delight in our natural world.