Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ode to the Woods

DSC08692_edited-1 {it’s absolutely impossible to convey through these photos how immense these trees are…}

We went into the woods one day last month.  Not just any woods…the redwoods….


Muir Woods, to be precise.  Just beyond a drive across the beautiful Golden Gate Bride in San Francisco--quite a wonder in and of itself!


A trip taken with my parents, who’d never  been there before, and my niece, newly moved-in with us for a while…a daytrip planned and much anticipated…


I’d hoped for time there like we’d had before…quiet, peaceful, reflective…with almost no one else there…

…but that was not to be.  We pulled up to BUSLOADS of visitors.  I was so very disappointed.  I’d wanted my parents to experience the peace there that I’d felt before…………..

But I needn’t have worried.


You hardly noticed another soul in the trees around you, though hundreds joined us on the paths through the woods that day….

The trees seemed to inspire a reverence usually reserved for beautiful chapels, cathedrals…sacred places…


…this certainly feels like a sacred place to me…

silence.  Hardly a laugh, raised voice or joke was to be heard.  No cell phones rang, no music…just the quiet, appreciative sounds, echoing my own.  The quiet click of a camera…and the silence and wisdom of the trees…

DSC08727_edited-1 {this is ONE tree!}


Come and walk with me…

All around, the un-earthly earthiness of it all.  Trees taller than you can imagine—the breadth and age of them unreal…


Moss and stone…



Light and shadow…



What did I learn from the woods that day?


 DSC08680_edited-1 {the birthdate of this tree?  909 A.D.!}

The beauty that the centuries bring…that age, in itself, is beautiful…

…and that wrinkles are actually quite a wonderful thing…….





That, no matter how old we are, there is always something new to be learned, to be appreciated…to admire…




That the freshness of  youth mingled with aged wisdom is a very beautiful thing…

DSC08684_edited-1 {baby redwood trees just waiting for time…}



That even in the midst of all our realities, we can still find a fairyland in our own “backyard”…


DSC08733_edited-1 {just the perfect home for a small family of elves…}

That we should never forget to look down for small beauties laid at our feet…


And that family time—no matter where we are—is the very best time of all…


DSC08792_edited-1 {my sweet little “chipmunk” daughter, Annie—3 days after all four wisdom teeth were removed!}

DSC08879_edited-1 {my photographer daughter, Sarah, captures her Grandma’s beautiful smile}

As you walk down your path of life today, I wish you a day full of peace, reflection and wonder at the world around you…




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  1. Oooh Julie, how beautiful!... I visited there as a child, then in the early 80's with Jack... you are right, it is a sacred place... it is so incredibly breathtaking, your photos make me want to visit again... and I love all of your gentle prose along with your photos... I also love that your family is most important in your life, like mine is to me... so happy you had a nice time... and thanks for sharing this most enchanted gift from God... xoxo Julie Marie

  2. All of your pictures here are amazing. I have never seen the Redwood Forrest.......but about 5 years ago I was on a little trip down the Oregon coast, and when we cut across we ended up going through the very northern tip of the Redwoods........even those were incredible I thought.
    Yes, such scenery and beauty does become something sacred.
    Reminded me of a song I knew as a young girl
    (in part)
    Oh the Wide Open Spaces
    Is the Place Where I Worship
    Built By The Hand of the Lord

  3. It's impossible to take a bad picture among those gentle giants. Thank you for sharing your trip with us.

  4. This is beautiful. I have never been but my dad has and he said it is amazing. When I studied trees at KState I fell in love with their history and special attributes. What a once in a lifetime trip...thank you for sharing it with us...smiles...Renee

  5. Just lovely, Julie. Jud and I visited it with a good friend when he was at Stanford. We thought it felt like a very sacred place, too. It also had this feeling of "old" to me. That sounds obvious but it all was very lovely and mysterious. Thanks for reminding me of a beautiful place!
    Big hugs,

  6. I used to live near the trees in Arnold but in all my life I never went to these in the Muir woods.

  7. What a beautiful spot Julie. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! I love, Love, LOVE that picture of you with your mum! How very special. I wish you so much love and joy this day and every day. I think of you often my sweet friend. You are truly a treasure. xxoo

  8. Julie!! how awesome! Some of God's wonders! I have to say my favorite photo was of your parents walking hand in hand... that is a treasure!! Some wonderful moments to be treasured! Thanks for sharing..
    God bless

  9. A truly wonderful experience on so many levels. Stunning photographs of amazing trees. I adore family, trees, wood, photos so your post was just a perfect delight for me.
    Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories.
    By the have your mother's smile ;D
    Enjoy your Sunday :D

  10. What a beautiful, thought-provoking post! Your photos are so pretty Julie. Thank you for sharing your wonderful day with us.

  11. Oh my Julie! So beautiful. Your post, thoughts, words, images -- all so very wonderful and inspiring! Wishing you a blessed and beautiful day. Tammy

  12. Hi Julie, I love this post as it reminds me of when I was a little girl living in the SF Bay area, on one of our adventures with Grammy and Grandpa Hal. They took us to many forests and beaches. One weekend, my Grammy said, let's go find snow. I was 6 or 7 and quite skeptical, since we lived in Palo Alto. But she put us in the car along with the toboggan and headed toward the ocean and did end up finding snow. Thanks for the reminder of many wonderful days as a child friend.

  13. So beautiful my friend...I love love love the woods, especially the Redwoods.
    We look out onto a West Coast is our back yard and I just love the peace it brings into our home.
    Thank you for your sweet comments and HAPPY monday to you. May your week be filled with joy xoxoxoxo

  14. Amazing photos! Such a sweet post and reminder that family time is so precious. My dear Mom, Janna and myself are preparing for our NY trip with her choir later this week. A trip of a lifetime as this one was not doubt for you.

  15. that was such a beautiful post Julie! All the fabulous photos and the life lessons woven in were perfect. It really brought back memories of when we took our girls there years ago. Great job!

  16. I first visited Muir Woods
    when I was 10 years old,
    and even then, felt the same
    awe that you describe, here.
    What a perfect day you shared
    with your sweet family. I
    especially loved the last shot,
    of your folks walking away from
    the camera......

    xo Suzanne

  17. Les deseo mucho amor y alegría en este día y todos los días. yo

  18. Oh Julie! Tan hermoso. Su mensaje, pensamientos, palabras, imágenes-todos tan maravilloso e inspirador! Relájese y disfrute de un día bendito y hermoso.

  19. What a wonderful time and your photos are great! Thanks so much for entering my give-away. Good luck!!

    Sandy xox