Being from Florida, I’ve always avoided the outdoors. It’s always so hot and sticky; there’s no appeal for me. Moving to Portland, I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for being outside. This past Sunday, all 24 participants and staff from Tivnu loaded into two huge vans to go camping in Mt. Rainier National Park for four days.
Preceding this past week, I had never been camping before (let alone to Washington State). The views I saw were unfathomable. When we reached the end of our first hike, I genuinely felt like I was in a post card. The crystal blue water, the warm rocks, the shade from the tall Christmas-like trees; everything was breathtaking.
While hiking, I really didn’t know if all of the steep inclines were going to be worth the view at Snow Lake. Boy was I wrong. When we reached the rocky shore I was filled with such joy and amazement. I had never felt something like it before. I felt so connected to the earth and so thankful to be there. I learned that gratitude feels different when you are feeling it toward a non-human energy. It was one of the most challenging things to do, but with an indescribable payoff.