Take Me to the Trees

Cook Forest Fall of 2014
Cook Forest Fall of 2014

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
John Muir

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a “tree hugger.” Literally no, I don’t really hug trees (although maybe I have once or twice) but I revere them, love them, and am in awe of them.

About a dozen years ago, I worked for a non profit in Pittsburgh that planted lots of trees. I learned even more about trees, which ones were endangered (ash trees for one), how beautiful a ginkgo leaf was, and how much I like a good, solid oak.

More trees
Morning Light

This weekend I was again in Cook Forest with my close friends. Our cabin was in the midst of tall trees that provided a lovely green canopy. This morning, the light was just perfect and I caught these gorgeous shots of the pine, maple and oak trees that were such a perfect part of our weekend landscape.

I think John Muir had the right idea. Being among trees can clear my mind and make me forget about anything that may be bugging me. I can walk on a tree lined path and think completely new ideas and thoughts. It is amazing what those trees can do for me.

The Tree Canopy
The Tree Canopy

I hope you have a great tree place you call your own.Thank you again, Cook Forest for your ability to inspire me!

Cook Forest Fall 2014 #4

Cook Forest Fall 2014 #5

Join me on my graceful journey.
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Serenity on the Clarion River

Canoe

Jim and I spent this past weekend in one of our favorite places in the world- Cook Forest State Park, Pennsylvania. We meet up twice yearly with a group of friends and this time we occupied three cabins side by side with a grand total of sixteen people.

We ate all of our meals together and spent most of our time gathered around a perfect campfire. There were lots of good stories, marshmallows and too much food. Believe it or not, there was no alcohol on this weekend and yes, we had a very good time.

Before we left, Jim and I made the decision to head up a bit early on Friday and go for a canoe ride down the Clarion River. We did this once before but took the much longer ride. This time, we opted for a shorter river journey which took about ninety minutes.

Clarion RiverWe had a very nice canoe. I rode in front and Jim took the back seat so he could do the steering. It was one of our shining moments working as a team. Paddling around rocks, shallow water and little rapids, we never once got hung up anywhere. Jim threw his fishing pole in along the way, just for good measure, but the fish must have been somewhere else, probably taking a long nap.

I can’t fully describe for you what the ride was like but I will try. The river was tree lined on each side; great big tall trees, still green but with the promise of autumn in their leaves. A clear, sparkly river with the sun glistening off the surface so much so that it appeared as though diamonds were scattered about. The sound of a red tailed hawk overhead; the sound of my paddle as it glazed the tip of the water.

A couple of times, the sun was warm enough on my shoulders and I angled my hand over the side of the canoe, into the chilly waters of the river. I left it there for a few moments and felt the cool wetness, the temperature of the water being just perfect for the beginning of fall.

There is truly serenity in being among the tall trees, in unspoiled beauty, with clean air and only the scent of pine or a good, smoky fire. My cell phone does not work well in Cook so it’s a good excuse to go unplugged for the entire weekend. The better to enjoy the beauty with.

Sometimes we have to stop and break away. Life is just too busy these days and more and more is expected of us. Making time, pushing ourselves to be in touch with nature should be mandatory, just to clear our heads and refresh our minds. I know it really works for me.

Where’s your favorite place on earth to wind down?

Join me on my graceful journey.
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Take a Walk with Me

I know how busy you are…this will take just a minute.

After years of going to Cook Forest, I discovered a hidden treasure, a jewel of a place, within the Forest itself.

I want to share it with you. It’s called the Forest Cathedral.

Come….let’s walk.

Told you it would be quick! Now, aren’t you glad you joined me?

Blessings to you and especially to my Cook Forest friends!

(All photos taken by me, Katherine’s Daughter!)

Join me on my graceful journey.
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