As I was preparing to leave the Pacific Northwest in 2013, I noticed the beauty of the landscape with the acute sense of appreciation that I often feel during “good-bye’s.” I pledged to try to arrive in each new landscape with a tenacious ability to value the beauty from the beginning rather than the end.
As we traveled through Europe, I kept a journal of all the beautiful moments I appreciated. Here are some memories I will always carry with me:
- In London: the lazy haze over Hyde Park early on a Sunday morning.
- On a Tuscan evening: the smoky sweetness of olive wood burning.
- In Prague: the lights that came on slowly and lazily as the antique street lamps cast a buttery glow over the cobblestones.
- On the Sunshine Coast of Spain: the perfume of the hibiscus that had basked in the sunlight all day.
- In Malta: the luminescent quality of the Mediterranean when the moon began to rise.
- In France: the smell of a Parisian sidewalk after a spring rain.
- In the Black Forest in Germany: shadows dancing in ways that blurred the darkness and the light.
- On the Portuguese coast: the waves that seemed to be angry at the shore, pounding on their approach and retreat.
- In Holland: the gentle way the rain fell in the canals as if they were well acquainted
- Crossing the Alps in France and Italy: feeling the power of nature and the majesty that made us feel small in the best way.
- In Bruges, Belgium: the view of the quilted, lush countryside from the bell tower
- In Slovenia: the absolute quiet, reflective, and ancient Lake Bohinj
- The Danish Countryside: with the sweet hay of summer’s end and the foggy beginnings of fall converging on the fields simultaneously.
- The Swedish archipelago: with its pristine red and white lighthouses, capping mossy green rocks, lulled by gentle whitecaps.
- In Austria: stately cities protected by noble mountains in cloaks of green covered with hikers that appeared to always know the way.
- In Ireland: the way the rain chased the people away so we were alone on the misty dormant cliffs.
Europe is now a part of me. There is too much gratitude to share from my journal which is exactly what I hoped would happen. I am excited to have volumes of appreciation for the natural beauty we encounter as our journey continues.