There's No Place Like Home

I’m with Dorothy on that sentiment… there truly is no place like home. It was with mixed feelings that I left this morning at the crack of dawn. Especially hard to see the sad look on my father’s face. “When will you be back?” he asked. “I don’t know Daddy, but you know I will be!” A year ago I thought I might be moving back here permanently, but at the time… I had no idea I’d be embarking on this amazing adventure. This journey is meant to be. I know it in my heart and soul. I can feel it in my bones. It’s only just begun, and it excites me to know that the discoveries ahead of me are limitless.

A month ago I arrived here in my home state of Washington, and I have to admit that after traveling through some gorgeous autumn color during most of my trek north I was feeling a bit skunked by the lack of vibrant color here. I know just how beautiful the turning leaves can be around here, and I was hoping to find just that upon my arrival. As it turned out, autumn was running a little late this year (maybe waiting for me to get here!) but when it came, it came in a blaze of glory. Two weeks ago the hillsides were coming to life in vibrant hues of yellow and orange. It was amazing watching the colors change and expand with each passing day. Kind of like watching a time lapse of a painting coming to life at the hands of a talented artist… each stroke bringing more color and depth. The deep reds and purples set in while I was journeying up north, and sadly the gloomy weather set in upon my return to Longview. The dark, flat light does not lend itself to capturing this beauty photographically, and each day I hoped for better light so that I could do justice to this amazing kaleidoscope of colors. Unfortunately the beautiful sunlight did not return before my departure. As I was driving along the river on my way out of town this morning I did my best to soak it all in visually, memorizing the hues and textures and the effect they had on my senses, in hopes that I would be able to adequately describe it. I’ll do my best now…

It’s early morning (near sunrise if there were any sun) and I’m driving a narrow, windy two-lane highway with the Columbia River on my right, and sheer rock walls with intermitant marshy bodies of water to my left. It’s damp and cloudy which yields a dark, moody, foggy effect… with just enough light to see color and depth in a very muted way. I’m loving the effect, but I’m well aware it would not come across the same through the camera. I turn a bend in the road and take a deep breath at the scene before me. A big craggy tree… bare of all it’s leaves… revealing a softly glowing layer of lichen and moss. I’ve been observing these trees for several days, wondering why I had not noticed them before, and it occurred to me that these same trees are normally covered with leaves. Whether delicate bright green of spring, mature deep green of summer, or alive with autumn color, the layer of lichen and moss has been hidden beneath. This understanding brings to mind the beautiful lacy undergarments worn beneath grand ball gowns in years gone by. It is soft and pale and delicate, and it adorns almost every inch of this big tree. And beyond the tree… through the foggy light… is a tree adorned in yellow. And beyond it… a tree adorned in orange. And beyond it… one in flaming red, skirted by a majestic purple. If you pan out you see an entire painting of dark grand trees covered in soft lacy green… all surrounded by a pallet of autumn hues. Wow! This is home… and the memory of my last glimpse of home is now a treasure I can keep… and carry along on my journey.

I cannot share the color of the last few days beyond those words, but I can share some new highlights from the last few weeks. There are several others in previous posts. Enjoy!

Lake Sacajawea…

Along a drive not too far from home…

I never grow tired of the view from Dad’s house…

Huge flock of geese I scared up near Mom’s! I have to say this about geese… every single place I’ve been since leaving Dallas… Amarillo, Westcliffe and Basalt CO, Red Fleet Reservoir UT, Moran WY, Yellowstone, Missoula MT, Coeur d’Alene ID, and all over WA… geese! Geese flying overhead. I arrive to the sound of geese. I awake to the sound of geese. I gawk at the interesting patterns of geese as they fly above. I ponder “why?” when I see a flock flying north, or east or west. I ponder the amazing “nature” that takes them south. I smile… knowing I’m tagging along. 🙂

To my family… thank you all for the time we had together. I never seem to get my fill but whether a little or a lot, it was precious to me. I love you all beyond words.

 

(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)
Get Trail Sherpa posts and insights by email.

Connect with Trail Sherpa
Subscribe via RSS:

  • Diane B

    Hi Fran. Enjoyed reading this post. Glad you had a wonderful time in WA with your family. Where are you headed now? Thought you were heading back to TX in Oct. Safe travels and keep in tough.

    PS. You shots of the Fall in the NW are beautiful. Makes me homesick for PA.

    • fran

      Thanks D! My trip to Dallas got postponed. I’ll be there 12/2-12 though, and hope to see you!! It was great to be home! I’m in Oregon now, on my way south along the coast into northern California. The drive today was amazing! Just when you think it can’t get any better… it does!!!

      BTW, when I hit the PA area you may have to come along for the journey!! 🙂

  • Lisa Brudi-Gregory

    Loved the pics of the lake Fran! Brings back fond memories of home.

    • fran

      Time at Lake Sacajawea is always high on my priority list when I go home. It will always be a special place to me, and for no particular reason other than I spent a lot of time there when I was young… running it with my Dad, riding it on bike and on horseback, feeding the ducks and geese as a kid, and walking it with many friends over the years… not to mention that it was the subject or at least the background of many images I shot during the high school photography class that launched me into an amazing career!