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Finding peace of mind in a dark, snowy wood

Finding peace of mind in a dark, snowy wood

It seems there is a lot of workplace stress going around right now. I’m noting a fair share of it at my day job, but I am also hearing of it from those around me. Perhaps it is the normal busy-ness of the holiday season piled on top of a year of turbulence, constant health threats, financial uncertainty and political angst. For me, one of the best ways I reset is to get out at night into a snowy forest. The peace and quiet and natural beauty and uncaringly cold temperatures all combine to do a wonderful job at settling me. It also reminds me that there is a whole other world away from the trials and tribulations of the work day. I try to visit such wintry forests enough to feel like it is not there that I am visiting, but rather my urban work life is the visit away from this much quieter, snowy, nocturnal existence.

I dress this up in mildly poetic language, but truth is balance is important and many of us easily get caught up in the various stresses of our everyday lives. Some of us shed that stress better than others, some of us have more opportunity to get away from it, but stress is corrosive stuff and it does its work slowly and steadily.

I snuck up to Mount Hood on Monday. It came after a full day at work and I was fairly tired by the time I left, but I was also determined and the promise of snow is a powerful motivator for me. It was a quick trip, as I had to be back at work the next morning. We took just long enough to do about an hour’s hike, skirting the edge of Ski Bowl and exploring the forests that lay in the shadows cast by its bright lights. The joys of being out in such weather at such time and in such a place are not easily lost on me, but I was nonetheless still caught a bit unawares at just how much easier it was to breathe up there and to relax the muscles in my neck and shoulders, and how much I missed the icy caress of those winter winds while not a human-made sound other than my own breath and the crunch of snow under my boots could be heard.

Anyhow, just sharing all that as encouragement to seek out such places if you can. They are good for you.

Hasselblad 500C
JCH Street Pan

Posted by Zeb Andrews on 2020-12-17 06:37:56

Tagged: , Hasselblad 500C , JCH 400 , Mt Hood , night , snowy , winter forest , black & white , Medium Format , Oregon , Pacific Northwest

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