It was a overcast and somewhat gloomy, wet day yesterday in Asheville. Driving down the wooded two-lane road to my home, I was reminded of my time in Issaquah, WA, with Joe. It doesn’t take much for me to have something spark a memory of Joe, but this felt more pressing… as if a message was being sent.
I’ve learned to take note of these “flashes,” “inklings,” “murmurs,” “insights,” or whatever you want to call them. I know everyone gets them, and you may overlook them, as I once did. But now I wait patiently for the follow-up message that inevitably shows up.
And it did this morning. What I noted yesterday was that although the overall mood and colors of the day were similar to what was present during our April 2018 stay in Issaquah, what was missing was the verdant green moss that covered the dark barks of the trees. Missing, like Joe was in the car beside me.
This morning I got an email from Duke Energy (I know, really?) with an Arbor Day message. That prompted me to look for a photo of Joe’s to send out and/or post on social media to celebrate the day. I was looking for Dancer in the Forest, one of my all-time favorites of his many tree images when the key words prompted an email I sent out exactly one year ago to surface.
Thanks, Joe, I murmured. He was reminding me that not only did I send that particular email one year ago, but also that our stay in Issaquah was at this exact time in 2018. It was so memorable for him, that I know my flash yesterday was prompted by him in order that I could share the great beauty, wisdom, and peace that being among great trees can bring to us.
So, dear readers, Happy Arbor Day. What follows is the photo essay celebrating trees, beauty, and magic forests everywhere. When you’re done reading, I hope you’re inspired to go hug a tree!
Photo Essay: Spring in Seattle
Our spring in Seattle was a visual lesson in why it’s called the Emerald City. Although the city is named for its year-round greenery, the foliage in spring is especially vibrant. Our stay in the area began with a housesit in Issaquah, an eastern Seattle suburb.
The magic began once we took the exit for this small town nestled at the base of Tiger Mountain National Forest. As soon as we turned off the interstate, the highway’s traffic, noise, and frenetic energy ceased to exist. In an instant, it became quiet, peaceful, and remarkably green. I mean, GREEN. Many of the trees were covered in a luminescent green moss that shone like jewels against the bark and branches deepened to almost black due to the seemingly ever-present rain.
Our excitement grew as our GPS led us down a two-lane double line road, to a no-line street, to a single-lane bridge over a creek, to gravel, and finally the driveway of our new home for the next few weeks.
The house was located only steps away from a trail that led to what I can only describe as an enchanted forest. To add to our delight, a daily one-hour walk on the trail or road was part of the “requirements” of taking care of the lovely-spirited yellow lab, Maya, during our stay.
Truth be told, having to take Maya for the daily walk was what got us out of the house many mornings. It rained so much and so hard, we would have stayed in if not for Maya’s big, dark eyes and insistent presence following us around about an hour after we got up. She didn’t care about the weather, only the highlight of her day—a good, long walk down the trail or in the wooded neighborhood.
And I was always glad once we got out. For every time Maya stopped to smell or you-know, my eyes were drawn to some incredible foliage or rock/tree formation that would have been otherwise overlooked. If you want to learn to get present or be in the moment, walk a dog.
As long as I’m being truthful, Joe was as excited to get out as Maya. In fact, he often stayed out in the forest long after Maya and I returned home. It seemed every time he turned one way or another, he saw something else. It was a photographer’s dream, and he was grateful for the experience.
Our time in Issaquah passed too quickly and we were truly sad when we had to leave our canine companion and the beautiful home on the creek surrounded by the enchanted forest. But instinct assured me that this was not the last time I’d enjoy time spent here.
Did you enjoy the photo essay? If so, please share it.
There are three more Spring in Seattle photo essays featuring the photography of Joe Gemignani. Here are the links, if you’d like to view them.
Spring in Seattle and Colombia City
Spring in Seattle: Ballard (and return to Issaquah)
Coming Next Week
We’re approaching the two-year anniversary of Shelley Writes! Next Friday marks the day I began this journey two years ago (kicking and screaming but acquiescing to the wisdom of my Muse). I’m just beginning to understand and appreciate her greater insight as I contemplate how far I’ve come and where I’m heading with these (mostly) weekly posts.
All I can tell you at this point is that I feel like I’m just getting started, and I’m excited about where I’m going. I’ll tell you all about it next week…
Until next time… my best, Shelley
P.S. Do you see the tree nymph in the top photo? She’s in plain sight, but I only saw her today, although I’ve viewed Great Tree with Ferns many times. Maybe that’s what Joe wanted us to see??