STOP & SMELL THE PINES

I grew up in Iowa, where the plains stretch as far as the eye can see and rolling fields of corn lay blanketed beneath eggshell blue skies dotted with clouds as fluffy and thick as pillows. It’s a scene that manages to be boring and beautiful, overwhelming and serene – all at the same time. I’m a firm believer that every place, no matter where in the world it is, has its own beauty. Has at least one special thing that makes it so heartbreakingly unforgettable there’s no other spot like it on earth.

It’s no secret I’ve been pining for a move back to the Midwest.  The lower cost of living coupled with nostalgic feelings of my youth is a pull that’s becoming harder and harder to ignore.  I miss the humid summers, the crisp falls, and even the crazy cold, brutal winters.  I long for a simpler, slower life that starts its day with ample time to wake and gather my thoughts rather than the one I have now – where my eyes are barely open before I head out the door at six in the morning and rush headlong into a day that leaves me too drained to function when I return home that evening.

As of late, the only way I’ve felt I can obtain this lifestyle is with a move back to my home state.  We’ve been in Washington for ten years now, and the insane cost of living coupled with the population growth causing havoc on the roadways has been enough to damper my love affair with the Pacific Northwest.  What started out as a romance with Seattle has slowly, regrettably, turned sour. 

But.

I’ve been rediscovering my love for this beautiful state on these past few shoots.  The romance has, to a point, been revived, and the more time I spend wrapped up in the rugged nature of the Pacific Northwest – the blues, emeralds, and grays of the Cascades, especially – the more I see that a simple life can be lived anywhere.  A slower life can even be enjoyed within the current one we have now – by just taking the time to stop and smell the pines.

Yesterday, while lingering on the edge of Diablo Lake after the shoot, I delighted in the cool rain against my cheeks and inhaled deep.  Iowa may be my first love, but the North Cascades will forever have my heart. Someday, I’m going to run away and build a little cabin in those mountains and stay there forever. 

And now, on to this beautiful couple.  Thanks, Logan and Ashley, for bringing me to this spot, sharing your love, and helping me to, just a bit, start to rekindle mine.

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