“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”

Rachel Carson

   I have gone through many different phases in my life. Each phase may bring a new hair style. I’ve been a red head, brunette, and platinum blonde. I’ve rocked a pixie cut and I’ve rocked such long hair that I look like an extra from the Lord of the Rings.

  Each phase may bring a different jean size. I’ve been on both spectrums, too large and too small.

  I’ve gone through the Clueless phase thinking it’s cool to talk like a valley girl, the She’s All That phase thinking it’s cool to wear fake glasses only to find out later that I did in fact, need glasses, and the current phase of Rosemary’s Baby… I kid.

  My vocation in life has ranged from musician to counselor to youth minister to mama to author to mama again. My taste in men has ranged from the skinny-jean wearing musician to the boat-shoe wearing frat boy to the “Jesus is my Homeboy” t-shirt wearing Christian fully decked out in his worship leader goatee. (Thank God I didn’t land on that last one for the kissing chafing alone…).

   But through all of that, one thing has remained. I love being outside. I love being outside in every season. I love the crunch of leaves under my feet in the fall. I love that I can actually smell when it’s going to snow in the winter. I love hearing birds chirp, seeing new growth, and feeling the coolness of dew beneath my feet in the spring. And I love the pastel bathing suits on dudes in the summer….. wait, that’s not nature. Lets try that again. I love running full speed into the waves that cool me off in an instant in the summer. There, that’s better.

   The greatest thing I hope to pass down to our children is my love for the outdoors. It is something my father passed down to me and I hope to carry on. Sam and I hunt, fish, run, play outside together. It’s been the common thread that bound us together from the very beginning. It’s been the heartbeat behind our relationship together:

get outside. get outside. get outside. 

   The hardest adjustment to living in the PNW for me has been the weather. But it’s also brought forth a new level of commitment to my relationship with nature. Even in the rain and grey, we put our rain gear on and explore. The rain brings more green, more worms, more silence. Sometimes we go out without a purpose. Some days the goal is to find a four-leaf clover (my mother’s favorite outdoor activity).  Some days I make a scavenger hunt list and give Bud a paper bag and we bring back our treasures. I make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls and we search for the eagles in the trees.

   Even if our adventures require more laundry and my hair is so frizzy from the rain that I look like Lionel Richie from 1987 on a bad hair day, I am still glad we have walked the trails, got dirt under our nails, and shoved countless rocks into our treasure bags (which sounds kinda like an amazing band name The Treasure Bags… dibs!). 

All that to say, if you find yourself in a rut, feeling antsy or run down….

get outside. get outside. get outside.


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  • Kathryn Roebuck Holding

    So true! Love the photos, Martha. What type of camera do you use? Now that we’re parents and all, figure I ought to get legit and purchase one instead of always using my iphone. Thanks!