I adore life's moments that make you grateful. Those moments that make you stop and think things like "Is this really my life?", "Am I really seeing this?", "How did I get so damn lucky?"--all good thoughts to have in a largely negative world.
This feeling hits me often, whether it be in a moment of laughter with a starry-eyed friend, or while gazing upon my sleeping dog, contently curled on a plush cushion, utterly enjoying just being (as dogs do). It hits me in differing moments of both chaos and stillness, both noise and silence. Moments like these leave me tip-toeing on a higher vibration.
I've found this feeling can be most easily found while immersed in our natural world, exploring organic environments that came to be all on their own. I found that feeling in repetitive, riveting waves this past summer in the landscape of Portland, Oregon.
I travelled to Portland with a friend of mine with no real expectations. We barely had a plan other than exploring the city's eclectic downtown, drinking 12 coffees a day and eating copious amounts of tacos. On a whim, we rented a car and decided to travel outside of city to take in some of Oregon's natural terrain.
While downtown Portland is certainly beautiful, swimming with culture and real-to-the-feel, energetic people, we found the parts of Oregon that man didn't make to be the most rewarding. We stumbled upon countless spaces of healing, soaking them in and often gaping in awe at the views before us. Oregon certainly stirred those sacred moments of gratitude we all sometimes feel, the often overwhelming beauty around us cleansing whatever negativity, stress, and anxiety we brought with us.
Below are some of the photos I took in these sacred spaces of Oregon...get ready to see your earthly home in a whole new way:
Flying into PDX, I was greeted with a view of Mount Hood (an active volcano) from my window seat and immediately knew I was landing in one powerful place. That's one fiiiiine mountain.
We fell into this view while driving aimlessly with no destination around Cannon Beach and made sure to pull over and gaze for a while. Stellar.
Multnomah falls was certainly a nourishing space. Gazing up at a 611-foot-tall wall of water has the power to make you feel so very small and insignificant, but also completely connected to everything around you. An ego-eradicator for sure.
The surrounding forest and trails of Multnomah held even more magic.
The towering Haystack Rocks of Cannon Beach taught us a lesson in enjoying the moment. Our phone batteries both flatlined right as the sunset was its most brilliant, allowing us to fully experience the view without worrying about capturing a memory for later. Although worry we did, because like...Instagram, but in hindsight the dramatic iPhone death was certainly for the best.
I think my face says it all.
Oregon certainly delivered on the views, leaving me with a distinct recognition of the pure brilliance that exists in the natural world and a deeper respect for the natural environment around me. I think I'll seek spaces like this for the rest of my life...the wild spaces that heal, uplift and cleanse the worse-off parts of ourselves. Until next time...