As I review the iPhone photos that I took last weekend while hiking a local area with my dear friend, I wonder how many of us really take the time to notice our surroundings. I mean, really notice. Having lived all over the country, I feel blessed to have lived in so many spectacular locations over the years: Colorado, New Mexico, and California are by far the top contenders for scenic awe. Other places I’ve lived are also gorgeous areas of the country: Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, Ohio and Illinois. Well, wait. Illinois and Gorgeous in the same context? Hmmm….maybe not. BUT, Illinois is pretty darned memorable with that famous mid-west hospitality they’ve nurtured over the generations. Same with Ohio…although the area in Ohio where I lived truly IS gorgeous. Those states get a bad rap for climate alone. But is that really fair?
No matter where we live at any given time, our surroundings are what makes a place feel like home. If the skies are gray, the dingy snow everlasting, the weather volatile, home is where the heart is. The physical surroundings become less important than the emotional ones.
When the geography catches your eye each and every time you’re out there in nature, then just count yourself as being completely blessed.
These photos are where I live. It’s so accessible it’s inexcusable for me to NOT be out there every single day. Yet, I’m only out there once or twice a month on average. Life gets so busy that I sometimes forget what’s right in my own backyard.
This particular day, I enjoyed this challenging hike immensely as my dear friend and I took our time to
catch our breath take in the views and appreciate our good health which was instrumental to completing this adventure. Her health journey has been very challenging these past two years with a hip replacement, followed by marital separation, which was trumped when a heart attack truly put her life into fine focus.
So we took our time. We took deep breaths. We took some photos. We took some video footage. We chatted, we gazed, we laughed, and we pondered those steep ascents and steeper descents. We pushed forward as we navigated loose gravel on slopes steeper than our comfort levels.
When we completed our five mile hike, we were elated and relieved. We did it. My friend commented afterwards that she’d didn’t know what to think. It was incredulous to her that she was able to complete that hike. Life is like that. We can’t always see the unexpected bends in the road, but we learn to navigate. One step at a time.
How lucky we are to live where we do. How lucky I feel to have dear friends who encourage and challenge each other. We’re blessed, all of us.
Do you take your surroundings for granted?
Beautiful photographs and what a beautiful area for your walk. It is a wonderful feeling to be out in the fresh air, pushing ourselves physically (but not overdoing it!) and then feeling like we have accomplished so much. Even better when with good friends, although I admit I often prefer to walk alone as I use that time to sort my head out!!
I never take where I live for granted as I was homesick for 17 years when I lived in the States! However, I didn’t take the beauty of the central coast of California for granted either, where we lived was gorgeous and although I missed my family in the UK terribly I was able to make a new life out there and enjoy what was right under my nose the whole time because I knew that oneday i wouldn’t have it any more.
Lovely post, thank you for sharing. Have a great weekend 🙂
Thanks, Sherri. Hope your life is settled down some now, and that your weekend is a good one as well. Looking forward to your next post!
I hope I NEVER take my surroundings here on the left coast for granted. I raised my kids here for 16 years, then we moved to the Boston area. That’s beautiful too, in its own way, but the bay area is my home, and I missed it horribly. Now we’re back in Marin, and taking as many walks as time allows, sighing at the scenery, breathing in the salted air, and appreciating the wonder of this world. Your photos are fabulous.
We are SO lucky to be able to call this place home, aren’t we? I’m continually amazed at how well my iPhone can capture what I’m really seeing. I’m getting close to leaving my iPhone 4 behind and splurging on the iPhone 5S. Just waiting a bit longer while I work myself into the mind frame I’ll need to transfer everything over. But I hear the quality of the photos is better still. Thanks for the read, the ‘like’ and the comments!