You may have noticed that I sort of disappeared the month of March. Life and my web design business, got more than a little busy. I came to the realization that I had to put some tasks and projects on hold for a bit to take some pressure off, blogging here ended up being one of those things.
I’ve tried to write about my experience this month and have about 3 different blog posts started but not finished. Haven’t quite found the angle on how to approach what has happened and to share some aha’s and some oh no’s I’ve learned along the way.
It will probably end up being a short series called “Lessons Learned From Not Taking My Own Advice” or something like that. Each time I try to write the post it ends up being huge! Which lead to me to the series idea…
But I’m happy to report that this weekend, I did finally take my own advice, and headed out doors for an adventure. It was past due and felt oh so good to be out exploring.
What I find hard about stopping and slowing down my pace is that my body is willing but my brain won’t turn off. It won’t stop spinning, thinking and trying to remember what else needs to get done. This is when having my big camera and not just my phone camera becomes a tool.
Photography in some ways is a meditative, contemplative practice. I’m a noticer, I see details, beauty and treasures along the trail. Little things to photograph, that help tell the story of the trail and the journey I am on. It stills the mind and helps me focus on the nature surrounding me. It helps me see the incredible beauty, intricate detail, and marvelous creativity of our Creator.
Spring has come to the Oregon Coast this month, beautiful spots of color suddenly appearing here and there. Some disappear so quickly while others, like the pussy willows above, continue their metamorphosis into something new.
The cattail standing tall beside lakeside rushes, grasses and more pussy willows become a feast for the eyes.
This secluded trail is about a mile in, ends up on the beach, and then a mile back out. If we see anyone it is mostly other dogs and their people. Without anyone else around the dogs can run, play and explore on their own. Bailey loves being out there, eyes bright, tail wagging, ears alert and nose to the ground.
We took turns exploring, his nose buried and finding new scents, me and my camera taking multiple shots to get the composition I was looking for. We also took turns waiting for the other to finish up what they were doing. I would look up and many times Bailey would be up ahead of me on the trail patiently waiting for me to catch up.
We ended up on the beach – one of my favorite places to visit. Sometimes a simple picture just will not do, I love the panorama function on my iPhone :).
This is one place where Bailey thrives and where my mind starts to slow down and I start to relax. There is no sound like the sound of crashing waves as they roll up onto the beach.
The beach is a place where I stand in awe of our Creator. He put the boundaries of land and sea in place, he created the tide schedule, the moon that affects the tide, and the incredible creatures that live in that vast space both above and below the water line.
Treasure hunting happens on the beach as well as you look for the carved out designs in the sand from the wind, rain and waves, and the shells broken or whole.
It is hard to walk on a beach and NOT look for shells. Have you tried? I have and even still my head is down looking out of habit, but I am pickier then I used to be. I have a decent size collection now so it has to truly catch my eye for me to keep it. But still I look, my eyes moving back and forth looking for treasures to see, capture with my camera and at times to take home.
When walking on the beach it is hard not to be in the moment, to enjoy the surroundings and witness the immense power and beauty of the ocean. It’s much easier to just breathe and be still.
And of course take a selfie or two… Bailey is not a huge fan of the camera no matter how small it is. This took several attempts and I even tried holding his head still for a moment LOL. But I finally got one that worked.
This is my spot, my place to slow down and just be. It’s a place that I know I absolutely must carve out more time for visiting. It is essential to my emotional and mental well-being. Where is your spot?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.