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Give in to Joy and Beauty

2 min read · June 23, 2017

Category: General MusingsTagged with: Reflections
View of Hamilton Mountain in Washington

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still life has some possibility left.

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is go hiking, and the region around Portland has an abundance of diverse options. There are mountains to climb, hikes through the woods or by the coast, and even exploring the lava tubes of Mount St Helens. There never is a shortage of options, which is fantastic. A few weeks ago I hiked to the summit of Hamilton Mountain with a friend, about 9 miles total with 2,300 feet of elevation gain. I love getting away from everything, including technology, and enjoying the beauty of nature. I find that it helps me slow down to observe and enjoy the world around me more. I appreciate and enjoy technology and the many benefits that it has brought; one downside for me is the accompanying always on mentality, which can also lead to a perpetual state of distraction.

The beauty in nature is something that I cherish and photographs cannot do it justice. Photos cannot capture the depth and scale of sitting near the cliff’s edge eating lunch, the feeling of the wind sweeping up a gorge impressing it’s power on you, or the cacophony of the waterfall pounding down a mere 8 feet away. It’s mesmerizing and meditative.

Bosque garden at Oregon Gardens

Two weeks ago, I took my son down to the Oregon Gardens for several hours. His favorite part, naturally, is the children’s garden, which has activities such as: excavating a buried dinosaur, hiding in a hobbit hole, and steering a ship onto the next adventure. However, he also enjoys walking through other parts in the garden. It was a beautiful day in between the intermittent rains.

I believe spending time enjoying the beauty of nature is much like developing an appreciation of the arts with the added benefit of a trip to the gardens or a hike being much cheaper than going to see a play. I am grateful for the myriad of options in the area, and for the break from our long rainy season. Here’s to many more beautiful days and living in a manner absorbing beauty in wonderment.

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happened better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb. (Don't Hesitate).

~ Mary Oliver