I appreciate what the rain brings
It rains in the Pacific Northwest, a lot. I have always relished the rain. Well, maybe a 60 day rainy-day stint might be a test, but for the most part, I love the rain. Most importantly, I appreciate that rain in the Pacific Northwest brings beauty to our forests.
Lush green moss growing on the bark of trees is calming
First, I love that rain-soaked green forests are abundant in this area. Driving along forest roads away from the rush of the freeways opens up a green world of beauty and grace. Lush green moss growing on the bark of trees is calming. Feathery ferns nourished in soft soil cover the earth in every direction. Additionally, fern spores lodge in tree branches high above the ground finding the necessary ingredients to sustain life. Consequently, mature fronds hang gently downward and sway in the breeze.
Plants and birds and rocks and things
Second, I love hiking within this natural wonderland of green that is the direct result of rain in the Pacific Northwest. Eons of fallen evergreen needles create a thick carpet that muffles the sound of my footsteps. Hiking boots strike the earth with a subdued thud as I walk. Giant trees cloaked in green moss stand stately and silent as I pass. Centuries of wisdom in old growth trees when you find them. Occasionally, a gnarled snag presents evidence of what once was. While blackened bark reveals the ancient cause of demise. Jagged boulders hang from ancient basalt cliffs while stubborn brush and ferns rise from cracks in the rocks. Sometimes, water falls in small serene drips as moisture seeps through black soil and drips from fissures in rocks, baby waterfalls.
Rain in the Pacific Northwest brings beauty
Water is usually abundant when hiking in the Pacific Northwest. Especially in spring as snow melt drains from upper tributaries. Centuries of wind, water and ice has cut deep draws between ridges where clean clear steams transparently reveal nature’s striking works of art. Giant boulders and varieties of rocks and pebbles lay colorfully in stream bottoms where they landed from eruptions or torrents or landslides from a violent past. White water runs the gamut over rocky cliffs and squeezed through narrow enclaves. Interplay of light and minerals in the water form blue green pools beneath waterfalls and in eddies.
I call it meditation
I think, therefore, I am, always prepared for rain in the Pacific Northwest when I hike. Quiet moments are treasures as I hike, engulfed in the sights and sounds of nature, enriched by the gentle thudding of my footsteps, my breath in cadence with my stride. Scents of evergreens and deep rich soil, colors, shapes and flowers accompanied by the sound of rushing water and birds shouting warnings as I pass. Breathe in, breath out, thud, thud, thud. I am totally focused in the beauty that surrounds me. I give thanks for the rain.
Celebrate Earth Day
On this 47th celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2017, I acknowledge and express gratefulness for nature’s beautiful Pacific Northwest wonderland. Especially relevant, as individuals it is our responsibility to do our part to ensure that our lovely and wounded planet is able to sustain the life of our forests. Without our forests there is no us to appreciate them.
Have you hiked in a Pacific Northwest forest? What have you done to ensure that our planet’s forests are sustained?