I had hoped to be out skiing this past weekend, however, this has been the driest December in the Northwest on record! So, rather than spend two days skiing on alternating slush and ice, I headed out to the coast with Aubrey and our friend Jared.

At just a few days before the winter solstice, the nights are long – close to 16 hours long. (I know I know, you folks who live in Alaska have to deal with a lot more than that! I presume you stock proportionally larger amounts of whiskey in your cellars?). Thankfully we were able to get a nice driftwood beach fire going both nights to help pass the time, and of course cover ourselves in that wonderful smokey smell. I actually like those long nights, because you don’t have to get up until 7:30am to see the sunrise!

I had picked our destination, a short hike along Rialto Beach along the Olympic Coast, because I had fallen in love with this little tree. I have a fascination with lonely and peaceful looking trees and rocks. I think they help capture the feeling of being outside and in the wilderness, far from the throngs of holiday shoppers and traffic. The irony is that I don’t actually like to be completely by myself for extended periods of time unless I am actively keeping busy. However, I relish moments like the one I spent with that little tree on Saturday morning, completely absorbed in that moment of solitude.

Click image for larger view!

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park

"Silence" ~ Olympic National Park, WA
The Tech: Canon 5D2, 24-105mm, Singh-Ray Vari-ND, tripod
Exposure: iso 100, f/16, 20 sec
Notes: 2-image panoramic stitch with PT-Gui, triple processed raw files for controlling dynamic range, small branch cloned out from the left

I wonder, what would it be like to be that little tree? Think of all the beautiful sunrises and sunsets it has seen; the winter storms it endures; the fresh air it breathes every day; the seagulls that take their lunch break on its branches; and the occasional bald eagle that passes by. It is as close to nature as anything could possibly be. Completely immersed. In many ways I am jealous of its experience, and even more, I think I am jealous of its ability to patiently sit still in the same place 24 hours a day, 365 days year, and perhaps for over 100 years. It leads such a simple life. No email to check, no data to analyze, no cars to dodge, no dinner to cook; it is the essence of simplicity. It’s calming to pretend, just for a fleeting moment, that I am that tree.

Try it sometime – take a moment out of your busy day and just pretend what it would be like to be that little tree. Absolutely no obligations, no to-do lists, nothing. It’s like a miniature vacation, without the guilt of being away from work.

In fact, try it right now. It’ll only take a minute!

If that worked for you, perhaps you’d like a daily reminder, in the form of a print adorning your office wall? Sorry, couldn’t resist the little advertisement 🙂 Although I do believe that that feeling is priceless, I have decided to offer that print for 25% off until my next adventure. Just enter the keyword ‘silence’ on checkout.

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2 Comments to “Silent Seas on the Olympic Coastline”

  1. lisa says:

    wow! what an image! and what a message! may peace be with you!

  2. Anil Rao says:

    A very lovely coastal image, Floris. Loved the accompanying text too.