Wednesday, October 22, 2014



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I can’t explain what it’s like to go back home for a weekend. To smell and see and feel things that belong to another era of my life—a time that seems distant and dreamlike to me now. Funny, terrifying, that the very place that defined my first 18 years could feel so far away so quickly. I am afraid of a long future away from the wide-open sky and the watchful mountains, the land that brought me up.

They’re right when they say that new places change people. It’s not the kind of change that comes in a sudden, painful stab—it’s the kind that slips in unnoticed until one day, months or years in the future, you begin to feel a nagging ache. When did it start? Where did it come from, exactly? What does it even mean? You’ll never know. But it’s there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

all things new



It’s October, and the yard has a  thick carpet of merry-colored leaves. Trees reach their blazing sunshine-clad branches toward a sky too blue to seem real, and if only there would be a hint of chill to welcome back boot-and-scarf time of year everything would be quite perfect.

I can’t walk fast in the fall. It’s like the world is brand new and I have to see it all afresh. Hurrying ruins this God-given moment to just breathe in the new season, and I hate that everyone seems to think green lights are mandatory even during such a time of magnificence.


We take moments of silence at funerals and prayer rallies, but we let life drown out the beautiful moments and the awestriking views. There’s little time for wonder in the 60-mile-per-hour, redlight-greenlight world.

But when I see Mt. Rainier rising like a foaming wave from the eastern horizon, or the clouds brushed pink over the Black Hills to the west, I can’t just go onward in indifference. It’s like the world has a new coat of paint—a thrilling foreshadow of what is to come, when one day this beautiful but burdened Creation is remade into something even more perfect.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Revelation 21:1-5a

Sunday, October 5, 2014

nisqually national wildlife refuge


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These first October days have been sunny and sweet. Sam and I have been housebound by sickness all week, yet just seeing the sunshine filtering through the windows and the yellowing maple leaves in the backyard has been delightful. Today, finally well enough to go out, we took a leisurely stroll down the boardwalk at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, soaking up fall colors and a big sky and a rare view of Mt. Rainier.

And about the heron… I’ve been trying to capture a Great Blue Heron for years on camera. We get them in the swamp at home sometimes, but they’re very, very skittish and I’ve never been at the right place and right time. I saw this heron at a distance, but it was well beyond the public access part of the refuge and I don’t have a 600mm wildlife lens, so I moved on. Not even ten minutes later it just so happened to fly across the marsh and land like ten yards away! I was able to move in close enough to easily fill the frame just using my 135mm lens—not a very shy bird. :) Definitely a day of triumph on the camera front!


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