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Will's Birthday Lost Creek Walkabout

Will celebrated his fifteenth birthday on October 3rd and we headed out to Lost Creek Falls for a mid-week photo safari to mark his big day. I can't think of a better place to spend an afternoon, I was so excited to hit the road with the kids and hike out to the falls. It was a perfect fall afternoon— sunny, warm and the leaves were brilliant shades of red and yellow. Again, I was humbled by the mind-blowing beauty that surrounds us every day.

Meg was making chains with the leaves that were scattered everywhere you looked, she is a remarkably creative girl. We brought that particular specimen home. I saved it and will give it to her someday far in the future, when this walk is just a beautiful memory.

I had an incredibly hard time choosing pictures for this post, it was absolutely stunning that afternoon. Albert Camus said, 'autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower' and that certainly holds true up here. Autumn has always been my favorite season— I love the cooler temperatures, the viscous evening light, the sound of leaves crunching underfoot and the smell of wood smoke. I like the autumnal energy of endings— a bittersweet turning away and heading towards the quiet of winter.

I will never tire of walking in running water (in rain boots, of course). The feeling of the water rushing by reminds me that we all are on a journey towards our own big water and to savor the vistas and experiences along the way.

The leaves were strewn everywhere, the remnants of Nature's ticker tape parade.

I brought three maple leaves from my yard as an offering of gratitude for Will and the afternoon we spent exploring the forest, creek and falls. Spending a couple of hours taking pictures, building cairns and celebrating our lives among the pines, maples, oaks and waters of this area does more good for my spirit than anything I can imagine.

Charlie is learning how to use his camera and I love looking them over when we return home. It's clear after looking at his photos, he appreciates the nuance and small details of the natural world. I wonder if he knows when Nature reveals herself to us— in the light reflecting off a rock ledge, a lone red leaf in the stream or the dappled light through golden branches, we are in a state of grace. When I feel my spirit becoming ragged, I travel back to these afternoons at Lost Creek and feel my rough edges start to soften and my spirit restore itself.

Will, Charlie and Meghan built cairns in the basin, I think they were looking for a way to leave their mark and celebrate Will's birthday. I'd like to think the cairns were their way of making an offering of gratitude to the spectacular and nurturing energy that resides at Lost Creek. We all walked out of the forest feeling happy and sated by the dazzling light, water and leaves that enveloped us on Will's birthday.