We've been experiencing some...exciting... weather in the Seattle area lately with record rainfall, wind, and thunderstorms, thus reaffirming without a doubt that autumn has arrived in full force in the Pacific Northwest, with all the wild weather that entails. While some of us are welcoming the return of our familiar rainy weather, others of us might be wiping away a tear as we sadly put away the air conditioners, sandals, and sunscreen until next summer.
I believe that it is important to embrace whatever season we currently happen to be in, although that isn't always an easy task. Along with the colorful leaves, pumpkins, and beautiful scenery, autumn also brings weather that oftentimes is rainy, blustery, and cold. Even in these seemingly unpleasant conditions, there is still stunning beauty and breathtaking power to be found. These thoughts came to mind as I snapped our Nature Nerd Wednesday photo below of storm clouds piling up in the Columbia River Gorge between Washington and Oregon (I hadn't noticed this before, but it looks like I also caught a flash of lightning just behind the hill on the right).
Environmentalist, naturalist, and adventurer John Muir was known for going to extremes to experience nature in all of its moods. One of his best-known adventures involved climbing into the treetops in the midst of a windstorm in the Sierra to experience what the trees felt. He wrote of his adventure:
" ...when the storm began to sound, I lost no time in pushing out into the woods to enjoy it. For on such occasions Nature has always something rare to show us, and the danger to life and limb is hardly greater than one would experience crouching deprecatingly beneath a roof."While there is a certain sense of coziness and comfort to be found watching a storm play itself out from behind the windows of our homes, I do find that I am of the same heart as John Muir. There is also so much to be experienced when you're outdoors in the midst of the storm, feeling the cold rain on your skin and the wind buffeting your face, listening to the splattering of raindrops on the ground and the rush of wind in the trees.
While I won't suggest that we all go climb into the trees to enjoy our autumn storms, I do challenge all of us to embrace the season and find the beauty even in this seemingly dreary and rainy Pacific Northwest weather. Look for that "something rare" that Muir pursued with such abandon.
If you need a little inspiration, Muir's beautifully written account of "A Wind-Storm in the Forests" can be found here, and is absolutely worth a read.