I realized that even though I am a Californian and live so close, I have not spent enough time exploring the Pacific North West. The times I visited Brooke and her family in Vancouver, BC, I fell in love with the natural world I found there. It feels like my perfect world: pines, cedars, water, stones, mountains. All so rich and green,and strong, holding me in a magestic silence that takes my breath away. A silence that grips my soul and inspires prayer.
Shannon and her family recently landed in Olympia, WA, and I went up to visit. They are settling in and I got to spend time with several people I love! Vijay and Swapna (my first Chicago nanny family) came with their little ones, Jahan and Milan. My sister-in-law, Susan, came from Vashon Island and stayed the afternoon. Mike was there helping them out. And my little nanny guy was with me. It was a good group!
Oh but the beauty of the land. Late one morning when the grown-ups were busy unpacking and setting up house the children seemed to have just had enough. So Busha loaded them all into the car (the crazy, bright red PT Cruiser-but-it-was-a-Chevy-ish rental car...Granny in a Hot Rod Car) and I started driving: turned left out of the cul-de-sac instead of right, through the forest as far as I could drive, as deep as we could get until we were in a parking lot of a state park at the edge of the water. It was an amazing unplanned adventure of digging for crabs, sliming with seaweed, walking and running and loving Mother Nature up!
In fact, this place was so amazing that later that night with the whole family in tow (two cars needed now so once again Busha and the kids in the red Granny Hot Rod, Kid's Place Live blasting from the radio) we went back to watch the full moon rise. While standing on the very same shore as earlier that day, the place was totally transformed by that ol full moon. The tides had risen, and where there was once a tide pool wonderland there was now a deep, dark world of inky waters and majestic trees. A quiet world still, with the exception of our human voices playing and exploring in gratitude.
Oh, this Pacific Northwest. What a magestic place. What a gift from God. Amen.