Through these woods I have walked


Through these woods I have walked thousands of times. For many years I felt more at home here than anywhere else, including our own house. Stepping out into the world…was always a kind of relief. I was not escaping anything. I was returning to the arena of delight. I was stepping across some border. I don’t mean just that the world changed on the other side of the border, but that I did too…They recognized and responded to my presence, and to my mood. They began to offer, or I began to feel them offer, their serene greeting. It was like a quick change of temperature, a warm and comfortable flush, faint yet palpable, as I walked toward them and beneath their outflowing branches.

~ Mary Oliver, from “Winter Hours” in Upstream: Selected Essays

Notes: Photo: Michael Shainblum: An aerial image of a snowy morning in Oregon taken during a misty sunrise near Mount Hood. (Photo selection inspired by Dec 21, 2016, the Winter Solstice.)


  1. Magnificent–all of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lovely, lovely and i was graced by mary oliver’s words on my blog today as well )

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sometimes you have to go outside, feeling a part of something bigger, to feel like your home.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely…
    And I am going to take the opportunity to tell you this.

    Coming to your blog feels the same way. Like one is stepping across some border. And, every time we cross, it’s a return to an arena of delight and inspiration and challenge of some sort.
    One of very few places I must come to every single day.
    I come here and always leave, somehow, a better version of myself.

    So grateful for Live & Learn
    The last time I felt this way about something similar I was around 10 years old, almost 44 now. When we lived in a part of the world that was so disconnected. Mail didn’t come to the house. Dad went to the post office once a week to get our mail. Once a month we got National Geographic. He always honked the horn when he parked the car. And I always ran to our balcony on the third floor to see if he needed help carrying groceries. If he had a new National Geographic from our mail box, he always waved it at me and I ran down like lightening to get it.

    What you have created here is nothing short of true greatness. And, it is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Merry Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi friend
    I sending you, family and friends health and Blessings this Holiday.
    Thanks for stopping by when you can.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So darn good. Thank you for indulging us with lots of Mary Oliver recently. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this book, my latest favorite. Returning to it time after time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful picture and words. She draws me in every time!! ☃☃

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “I was returning to the ‘arena of delight’.” …The words of Mary Oliver that you have shared and the picture of Mt Hood National Forest did bring me back to delight…I think of the gift of being able to gaze at Mt. Hood (which was hard, as I was stuck inside my childhood class room, I would daydream looking out the window at the Mountain, wishing I was in Hood River, Oregon visiting family and playing, running in the orchards…and now I think of my Mom who was laid to rest, 17 months ago under the outstretched, fertile lap of beautiful Mt. Hood and I think of how, so many of my extended family will be in Hood River, this Tuesday gazing at the magnificent Mt Hood, as they celebrate a family members 100th Birthday! Breaks my heart that I can’t travel the distance to be there and I also think of a friend and how hard it is for his family when they think of Mt Hood as he fell, losing his life on the decent…and being outdoors is grounding and those of us who are fortunate to have spent part of our journey, in the outstretched shadow of Mt. Hood are forever, enriched by the impact…though at times, bittersweet…ever so grateful for the Joy of breaths drawn in the shadow of awe producing, Mt Hood…

    Liked by 1 person

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