Posted by: L | December 26, 2007

A Moment of Peace at Christmas

Each year at Christmas I make an effort to take a long Christmas walk in the local outdoors. It’s a ritual that I’ve done for I can’t even remember how long. This year was no exception.

Forest Park, Christmas Walk

The walk started out at the base of Forest Park. One of my favorite walking spots in Portland. It’s been raining pretty much non-stop the last couple of days. No big deal. I was prepared for cold and wet.

Christmas in Forest Park is different each time. Grey skies, sun and/or wind tend to be the norm. In years such as this, the park pulses with the sound of people talking and laughing, dogs running to and fro, the pounding of runner’s feet, and the whoosh of mountain bikers coming down the trails. All of us, individually and collectively are out enjoying an afternoon outdoors before tucking into a meal filled with laughter, friends, and family.


On the rare occasion – such as yesterday – the rain and wind keeps many away. Selfishly, I enjoy these walks the best. The lack of people allows for silence and stillness. One can really hear the sound of rain water cascading over the rocks as it rushes down the hillside. As you move deeper into the park, the wind brings on the smells of pine and damp, wet underbrush all the while dancing across space to sing through the pine trees and the ferns. It is Magical.

If you are lucky it begins to snow. I was. I stopped and felt. A hush came over the park as the first flakes began to fall. A quiet stillness that tempered the rushing water, the singing wind. In that moment it seemed to offer an unspoken gentleness. One of Peace. Of Grace.


I wondered as I watched the snow begin to blanket the ferns – how many other corners of the world breathed in that same moment. Of Peace. Of Grace.

I hope many.







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