Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Take a Walden Moment

Four words, expressed beautifully in an email, unequivocally wormed their way into my heart and mind today: "...take a Walden moment," Betsy Carlson, our interim Citizen Science Coordinator, wrote to staff, in reference to Henry David Thoreau's book, Walden, or, Life in the Woods.

The brilliant blue sky beckoned me outside, away from the harsh light of the computer screen, and I eagerly welcomed the warmth of the sun on this not-so-frigid February afternoon. A mundane Monday became an exciting outdoor adventure on my lunch break, where I would take full advantage of this beautiful day!

With my camera in tow, I set out on a mission; to connect with nature and find the beauty of our natural world in simplicity. In the words of Thoreau from Walden:

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear.... I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and....to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."

It's in days like these that I'm able to step back and fully appreciate the beauty that surrounds us in the Pacific Northwest, and particularly Fort Worden State Park.

We are so fortunate to live in place of amazing landscapes, stunning vistas, and incredible wildlife. Even the "common" glaucous-winged gulls have a special glow about them in the soft afternoon light.

In fact, it seemed like everyone had a special glow about them today; a little more spring in their step, and excitement in their voice as they greeted each other in homecrew, when making phone calls, or when crossing paths on the beach. Behold the power of the sun!

While it's true that winter has not surpassed us, I'm looking forward to each day as we get closer to spring — when the sun gets warmer, the trees begin flowering, and the urchins, abalones, and barnacles start spawning. That's when I know spring has arrived!
Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!

How do you take your "Walden moments"? Let us know in the comments!

Photos by Amy Johnson

AMY JOHNSON is the Volunteer Coordinator at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.


  1. Beautifully stated in words and images.

  2. Bless you, Amy, for building a blog for those of us living in God's country,
    Camano Island in my case, though Fort Warden is a worthy competitor. My cousin Dan Pederson, on South Whidbey, puts out a gorgeous blog every Saturday morning, filled with wisdom, wit, and photos of birds and critters of this area. To get on his list, ask him at dogwood@whidbey.com Yours will be a great addition, and good luck. Camano Bill. billandrion@wavecable.com


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