One of the things I love the most, with all the western states, is the endless acres of wild country available to the public. Nature at its very best. It touches something deep inside of me to visit these places. The quietness. The luck of motorized vehicles, the absence of noise. It makes me humble, and grateful. Seeing it through my daughter’s eyes, doubles the experience.

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You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination. – Roman Payne

The scale, and the whole experience multiplies in beauty, with her by my side. Experiencing things for the first time, through the eyes of a child, was what encouraged me to become a teacher in the first place. It is also one of the things I enjoy the most about motherhood. The magical places in today’s post, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Burney Falls, are both within a couple hours from us. I love that it is possible to make a one day adventure and get a complete change of environment, when every day life gets a little stressful.

Today my mind is occupied with prayers to the victims of the terrible fires south of us, lots of work, and projects. This week’s photo challenge helped me in a positive way to re-live the positive wonders of nature around us, and that makes me even more grateful to be alive and well.


Ms Zen

Windows 2

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This is my second entry to the Weekly Photo Challenge; Windows. (See the first entry here.) I like how the trees frame the rock formations of Castle Crags in the first photo. Like a natural frame. I wouldn’t mind having that view from my window! How would you like it? Imagine waking up with brown bears as your closest neighbor. I know the thought might be scary for some people, to me, it’s very appealing. I don’t have that view from my window, but I am blessed to live rather close to this amazing State Park.

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I go here at least once a year. I spent a day here this past weekend. It makes me feel so good! The fresh scent of cedar and pines, the wild country, the blue sky, and the rough landscape. Can you feel it?

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.

– Joseph Campbell

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I was thinking about going to a country music festival this past weekend. A few weeks ago I was asked if I could work. I love my work, so of course I said yes. It turned out I didn’t have to work after all. I hadn’t made any arrangement to go to the festival, since I was supposed to work. I had an awesome weekend at this magical place, and didn’t even  send one thought to the concert I missed out on. Imagine my shock when I wake up Monday morning and open my laptop, and read about the mass shooting! I could of been there. There’s no words for how grateful and incredibly thankful I felt at that moment.

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When nature turns extraordinary, your heart turns humble. You simply bow before the glory.

– Unknown

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In gratitude –


Ms Zen