So much to be thankful for 

While I did enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving with my family and a huge meal this afternoon, my morning started out in a less-than-conventional manner. 

For those who don’t know, I call the amazingly beautiful Applegate valley in Southern Oregon my home. I was born and raised here, leaving for several years in pursuit of dreams, and moving back before I married and started my family. 

Fall is my favorite time of year around here: it’s breathtakingly beautiful, the sunrises over the mountains are spectacular, and the colors in the forest sublime. Plus it’s deer season. If you’re not a hunter, it’s okay. It’s not for everyone. But for me it’s a peaceful time to commune with nature, enjoy her beauty and gifts, and appreciate the circle of life. And isn’t that what the Thanksgiving holiday is really all about? Appreciating Nature and God’s bounty?

So I spent my morning in the crisp, cold air, listening to the myriad seasonal creeks as they made their way downhill. The morning was so still I could hear the thwump of bird wings as they flew overhead. I can’t tell you how many story ideas and plot points I’ve conceived while sitting quietly beneath a tree in these woods. I spent about an hour camped on a hillside this morn waiting for the sun to rise before setting off to trek through the forest. 

Creeks which had been merely dry rockbed a few days earlier were now dancing brooks. I saw several beautiful animals: an owl, wild hare, and several deer.. just not ‘the right one.’ Maybe tomorrow. It was a fabulous morning and it reminded me of all I have to be thankful for: this beautiful place I call home, a family who loves me (and puts up with my penchant for disappearing before dawn on a family holiday of all times!), and that I’m healthy enough to take these kinds of adventures. 

I hope everyone had a safe and fulfilling holiday!  ~Jess


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