A Time for Resetting

This past week, a time of seasonal transition from summer to autumn, I cleared off my calendar and each morning spontaneously decided where my nature excursion would be. I had planned to camp at Mt. Rainier, but cold, wet fall weather came into the high country. Home seemed like a wiser base camp, and with Christina away visiting family, I had a unique opportunity for a solo immersion at home.

One Day I visited a little-known state park on our island. Goal #1-Become more familiar with the wild edges of familiar home territory! See it with “new eyes”.

Fall sun evaporating moisture from a rain-soaked fir tree

An old growth Doug fir tree at Dugualla State Park

Continuing with that goal, I traipsed my beloved South Whidbey State Park by full moon light for the first time. Still another day I wandered our wild west beach. On another I hopped on my bike. And in one local park I even found a twinflower (Linnea borealis) still in bloom—4 months out of season.

A late-blooming twinflower (Linnea borealis)—lower center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One day I left the island and traveled to hike one of our more well-known high North Cascade passes with a friend. Goal #2—Continue to explore the physical edge of possibility as I age.

Nearing the top of Cascade Pass, North Cascades National Park, 7.5 miles round trip, 1800 feet elevation gain

Looking east from the top of Cascade Pass—a 360 degree view of craggy peaks, permanent snowfields, and glaciers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These seven days have been a deep treasure for me—a retreat in place, a time for some soul searching, a way to honor the movement from summer into fall. I have been so happy focusing on “being” instead of “doing”—which was Goal #3. The important tasks of the fall—putting the garden to bed, reaching out to friends and family, tracking the perilous journey of our planet through this time of climate change—are still waiting.

But am now more ready to tackle them with fresh energy and new ideas. It is a great privilege to have the time, health, resources, and energy to take this “resetting” time. I am extraordinarily grateful.

These times demand the fullness of my time, action, and attention. Like so many, I grow weary reading the news and witnessing careless acts of destruction to innocent peoples and the earth. Yet, I care deeply and want to help. On this day, I see the world through new, rested eyes. My course of action has been reset in ways I probably do not yet quite know, but I am enormously eager to begin yet again.

 

 

32 replies
  1. Bonnie Rae
    Bonnie Rae says:

    I love state parks. They are often peculiar treasures in the midst of our everyday lives. I have one favorite for the rise of the sun and another as it sets. I sure hope to run into you out in the world someday. Thanks for a nice reminder that our lives are beneath our feet. 

    Reply
    • Ann Linnea
      Ann Linnea says:

      One of the joys of state parks is the surprising conversations I have with my fellow nature appreciators. Hoping we do meet on one of our walks!

      Reply
  2. Linette Harriott
    Linette Harriott says:

    Dearest Ann,
    Greetings from down under!
    We are in the opposite transition time here in Australia, with nature waking up from winter, spring bulbs and getting ready to plant tomatoes and yet the same resetting idea is a helpful prompt. It will be a dry summer according to forecasters so soil prep and mulching are my main goals. Taking some time, as you have done, to reset, feel gratitude and just be is a lovely idea.
    Linette XXXXX

    Reply
    • Ann Linnea
      Ann Linnea says:

      I know that lovely garden of yours—bird song, beauty, a treasure of nature in your back yard. Lovely imagining it waking up again as I am preparing to harvest the last of the vegetables and plant the cover crop.

      Reply
  3. Gretchen Staebler
    Gretchen Staebler says:

    Lovely! A staycation. Sort of. It can be hard to let go of all that “needs” to be done when one stays close to home. Sounds like you succeeded! Good on ya! And I have a new hike on my list. Next summer I’m determined to camp in the North Cascades again; I have a few hikes there on my list. Though I’m not sure my body can do more than one without several day’s break! Thank you, as always, for being an inspiration, dear one.

    Reply
    • Ann Linnea
      Ann Linnea says:

      I love how we inspire one another—YOUR hikes and blog model beauty and some significant exploration into the wilds of our gorgeous state.

      Reply
  4. Jane Morgan
    Jane Morgan says:

    Enjoyed reading every thought you expressed and imagining each adventure you described, dearest Ann. Am sure the forests, trails, and plants knew you were there and felt your attentive love.

    Reply
  5. Martin Siesta
    Martin Siesta says:

    Thank you and love love you! Health issues have prevented me from having mobility to be hiking, walk abouts and sailing. Healed enough to begin again so this has been very inspirational !

    Reply
  6. Jeanne
    Jeanne says:

    What a wonderful seven days you had, Ann – I love this idea of exploring “in your own backyard” so to speak! Even here in Chicago, we can find far more than seven days’ worth of outdoor adventures that inspire and rejuvenate the soul! Thanks so much for this sharing which also doubles as a good reminder to do this type of thing to mark the change of seasons. Gratefully received!
    Lastly, your photos are so very very beautiful and even some breathtaking! Thanks for those gifts too!! xoxo

    Reply
  7. Jeanne Petrick
    Jeanne Petrick says:

    What a wonderful seven days you had, Ann – I love this idea of exploring “in your own backyard” so to speak! Even here in Chicago, we can find far more than seven days’ worth of outdoor adventures that inspire and rejuvenate the soul! Thanks so much for this sharing which also doubles as a good reminder to do this type of thing to mark the change of seasons. Gratefully received!
    Lastly, your photos are so very very beautiful and even some breathtaking! Thanks for those gifts too!! xoxo

    Reply
  8. James Wells
    James Wells says:

    It is rejuvenative to simply read this piece, dear Ann. Aaahh…
    And what a helpful reminder to get to know Big Mama even better wherever we are on her surface. As things shift, it’s good to be present with how Earth and the beings who dwell alongside us are, and could be in the future, in the places we’ve planted ourselves.
    A friendly wave and bow of gratitude from the edge of the Don Valley in Toronto.

    Reply
  9. Liz Foster
    Liz Foster says:

    Greetings Ann! I have enjoyed your writing over the years. I’ve recently relocated to the PNW after 50 yrs…welcome HOME me! Your perspective is even more helpful now. This from your blog entry…”Continue to explore the physical edge of possibility as I age” caught my attention. Please consider sharing more ideas about engaging with/in nature as we advance in age. So essential for body and soul! Many thx for all your beautiful work!

    Reply
  10. Jeanie Robinson
    Jeanie Robinson says:

    Thank you dear Ann. The wild and beauty of our part of the planet is in me just now, having read your words
    Jeanie Robinson

    Reply
  11. Jeanne Guy
    Jeanne Guy says:

    Ann – the photos are exquisite and make me feel simultaneously calm and alive. What a glorious way for you to be in the world and bring the rest of us along for the sense of renewal and gratitude. Many thanks and big hugs.

    Reply
  12. Lisa Connors
    Lisa Connors says:

    Ann, thank you for sharing this exploration – while Whidbey is far from me on the map, it is always close in my sensory memory, all wrapped up with the love-filled times I have shared with you, Christina, and our shared writing and circle communities. I am inspired anew by the goals, both named and further revealed by your responses to these posts, that you set for your endeavor: gifts to self, gifts to place, gifts to us. Much love. Lisa

    Reply

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