“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.” – John Muir
For the past week, my family travelled through various parts of the Pacific Northwest. I witnessed an array of emotions, but one pervading theme threaded my experiences: the overwhelming beauty and the magic of the earth.
When I intersected with Multnomah Falls in Portland, I could not stop watching the cascade of tiered water falling from the earth. Every time I tried to steer my head in another direction, an inner peace pulled my eyes toward the goodness that spilled out of the earth. Even amidst all of the crowds, my cadence slowed and my breath remained steady. A certain mysterious, but mystical quality lingered in the air.
At the Portland Farmers Market, the bounty of the earth provided a streak of color to the gray pavement Fresh red strawberries, purple cauliflower and a rainbow of tomatoes connected the dots in this outdoor shopping area. It reminded me how our soil can produce treasures, especially those that are unencumbered by artificial processes. As I bit into a blackberry, I connected with the earth in the most intimate way: I tasted it.
Watching the reflection of the buildings in the water, my mind gravitated toward the blend between nature and its inhabitants. The skyline creates a majestic, but serene view of Stanley Park. Biking around the curves and bends of the park, I grew mindful of not only of my pedaling but of the vastness of this green oasis in the middle of the city. The contradiction between two contesting environments did not bother me, but enhanced my appreciation.
A local artist created these structures near the shore. He balanced each rock with careful precision. Everyone who passed by his rock garden took pictures and commented how impressed they were by his endeavor. Two perspectives struck me the most: Beauty can be uncomplicated. And this particular artist enjoyed his pursuit, without thinking of revenue and the fact that the tide destroyed his work within hours.
This rose brought to the surface a quote by Saadi, “The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together.” As a collective, the rose looked strong, but individually each petal appeared fragile. So much of our lives are filled with a tension between two diametric opposite emotions, happiness and sadness. Staring at this rose, I am reminded again.
This post originally appeared on The First Day.
Beautiful photos. The waterfall is stunning. Love those cairns and the Muir quote.
Thanks, Suzicate. I hope you visit that waterfall someday. There is a soothing quality to witnessing the water fall from the bridge.
What beautiful photos, and your words of course to match. Those rocks are amazing. The rose, with both sorrow and gladness. I love that.
Thanks, Wolf. The rose snapshot I captured at the International Rose Garden in Portland. Each space had a different array of roses and I will never forget the fragile and strong quality that each flower inhabited.
Such beauty in words and images made my day. Thank you!
Thanks so much for your kind words. Glad the images resonated with you.
Wonderful! How was your daughters third grade experience so far? It was the grade where I feel school work became “serious” – hope she enjoys the challenge! If you enjoy nature images, these really struck me last week: http://www.boredpanda.com/small-man-grand-nature-landscape-photography/?utm_content=buffer42113&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
It really lets you see how small we are in comparison to the space that surrounds us. I love that quote about the thorn and the flower – I’m not sure who I mentioned that too but essentially you can’t live without experiencing pain and suffering; the two are intertwined. You can’t understand happiness without feeling pain and sorrow.. That’s just how it is! Have a fabulous weekend Rudri! -Iva
Third grade is really fun for my daughter. I hope your 7-year-old is having a good experience in school too. I will definitely check out the link of nature that you recommended.
I really love what you said about feeling so small compared to the space that surrounds us. When we are surrounded by the unfamiliar, but magical, it pushes us to look at the world with a more deliberate gaze.
Have a good weekend, Iva.
The photos are beautiful and so are your words. Thank you for sharing !
Glad you liked them, Ayala. I know you visited this part of the country as well. It is breathtaking.
Stunning! You really captured the mood in your photographs perfectly. Makes me want to fly over to Portland just to see that waterfall! 🙂
If you ever have a chance to visit this particular waterfall, you will not regret it. It is a giant dewdrop of goodness.
Wow – this is a part of the world I haven’t explored yet. I think I’d love it. I’ve been to Vancouver in the late winter and Oregon in the early fall and I want to see everything in between!
I hope you do visit this part of the country during the spring/summers seasons. It is a healthy mix of nature and city life. And I am certain your photographer’s eye could catch the nuances of all these landmarks.
Such beautiful pictures!
Thanks, Nina. Glad you enjoyed these snapshots.
Beautiful words and pictures! Thanks for sharing them with us.
So happy that these pics resonated with you, especially since I know you have such a keen eye for photography.