New year. Fresh perspective.

photo © Karen Papais

One of my favorite things to do is take walks in nature and marvel at how much beauty is all around me, at every turn and with each step. Stepping out of this technology and media-saturated life and into the woods is quite literally, a huge breath of fresh air and it never takes me long to shift my perspective and start noticing the small things, while contemplating huge possibilities. I love it. I took a solo hike yesterday, to breathe deeply of this freshness and to remember to center myself as I move into a brand new year, full of potential and promise. I love the solitude, walking alone in nature, listening to the rustling of the wind in the leaves and feeling the thrill of the sunshine in January (coming from Upstate New York where this is not something to take for granted).

My confession, however, is that I also love to capture it in photos, and I always feel a little guilty being that person in the middle of the woods with an iPhone…but looking back at the photos and remembering my astonishment and gratitude at each beautiful scene I stopped to observe and then wander through…well…I just want to share it with all of you, and sometimes I’m better with photos than words.

There is nothing inherently extraordinary about this trail in Redwood Regional Park or these photos…except, somehow, there is. Seeking wonder in the ordinary…that’s what I strive to do. That’s what can warm your heart, melt your anger, or change your perspective – your entire life – in an instant. And then…remaining in this state of grateful curiosity and appreciation after stepping back into real life? Well. I’m still working on that.

photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais

photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais

photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais

photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais

photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais
photo © Karen Papais

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