Transitions

If I had to choose just one, I would say spring is my favorite season in the forest. The emerging wildflowers boldly shout, Wake up! Time to party!

sunflowers
Sunflowers (arrowleaf balsomroot) covered in raindrops.

After months of running through a winter landscape limited to white snow, brown tree trunks and green pine needles, my eyes are tickled by small bursts of bright yellow and deep blue emerging from the dirt. Wildflower season begins!

I stop frequently, taking photos of these beauties. Conall and Finn patiently wait until we start running again. My feet appreciate the springy feel of moist dirt underfoot as the boys and I run. Dropped pine needles, branches, and cones cover the ground, forming the duff and debris that replenish the soil, which in turn supports every plant, flower and animal in the forest.

As the snow slowly retreats to higher elevations, every run lets me feel a like a child at a scavenger hunt, dashing about, wondering when and where I’ll spy the first avalanche lily, sunflower, bluebell, or trillium. My favorites – lupine – will join the chorus soon. As the peak of wildflower season wanes near my home, the boys and I will simply venture higher in elevation where the cycle is starting fresh, and then higher yet again, through July. Endless spring.

Witnessing and pondering this natural transition between seasons during our forest run this morning, thinking about all the meanings of spring, I smiled inwardly. You’re entering a lifestyle “spring” of your own, with equally bold changes.

Transition is defined by Merriam-Webster as: passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another: change; a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.

I suppose if I had a motto, it would be, “Change is good.” I’ve certainly said it often enough over the course of my life. And even if sometimes I was hauled kicking and screaming toward that change, after undergoing the transition I always came out the other side better, stronger, and happier.

That’s the mindset I’m adopting as 2021 brings major transitions to my life. Change is good. It might be a bumpy ride at times, but the destination will be worth it.

First, I decided I would sell my home in Idaho and move to Vermont. That’s still in progress.

But that decision meant another big change: I could no longer host dog camp (in Washington state) because I would be living too far away. I wrote to campers saying I hoped to host one last session in September 2021, but that would be the last hurrah for dog camp.

Then something remarkable happened. Last week I sold Maian Meadows Dog Camp, my beloved hobby business. The idea – to sell it – came out of left field. I reached out to a long-time dog camper and she enthusiastically agreed to take over, maintaining the tradition into the future. I started dog camp twenty years ago, having no idea what I was doing or whether it would succeed, but it did. Best of all, it became a family of like-minded dog lovers who simply wanted to spend a weekend hanging a bunch of nice people and dogs. I wrote about dog camp last September, when the 2020 session had to be cancelled because of the pandemic.

To know dog camp will live on? Priceless.

I couldn’t be happier about this transition. I will write more about it sometime soon.

The other transition – selling my home – is still a work in progress. I’ve been busy and distracted with all the stuff one must do to prepare a house for listing. May is my goal. I love this house, built in 2005. But I’ve fallen out of love with Idaho, and so, another significant life change is underway. More on that as it progresses.

This morning, though, the brave, resilient early wildflowers withstanding late-season snows and the blustery, cold winds of April reminded me that I, too, will be tossed about – with excitement when looking forward and a sense of loss when looking back – as I navigate the logistics and emotions of these transitions. I, too, need to flex my resilience muscles to stay upright, keep moving forward, facing each new day with anticipation for what will be, however it unfolds.

Washington, Idaho, Vermont…it’s all good.

Change is good.

For now, let me take you along (vicariously, through photos) on this morning’s run in the forest with the boys. Transition was the theme. Whenever I felt sad that I wouldn’t see these wildflowers next year, I reminded myself there’s much to discover about the natural world in Vermont, and that excites me. The peace and tranquility I find in the forest – especially on foggy, wet days when no one else ventures out – allow me the physical and emotional freedom to stretch while nature wraps my senses in the joys and promise of rebirth.

wildflowers and snow
Avalanche lilies, chilled by last night’s snow.
wildflower closeup
Avalanche lily emerging from forest duff.
decaying tree trunk
Stump of a naturally-felled tree providing sustenance for insects and plants.
wildflower closeup
Yellow fritillary.
dog, flower, trees
“What’s so interesting down there?”
dogs, forest
Happy dogs.
dogs, snow
Even happier dogs – Finn rolling in snow, Conall with forest treasure (old bones).

Feature image: bluebells in the forest 4/25/21.

26 thoughts on “Transitions”

  1. Big decisions on many levels. That confrontation a few months ago kind of sealed the deal. You are in search of your people and looking for a comfortable place to settle at this time of your life. I applaud your decision. Can’t wait to see and hear of all your newest adventures. The wonder of the internet will keep us in the loop. Cool.

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    1. Yes, that confrontation was the straw that broke this camel’s back. I’m optimistic that I’ll find what I’m searching for in Vermont, but having the support of those who have supported me on my journey thus far – like you – means the world to me. Miss you, Shelle! Happy you’ll be along for this new chapter, vicariously!

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  2. Can you imagine what Spring must smell like to a dog with an ultra sensitive sniffer? Wow, what a snootfull of fabulous scents. As for you. Isee you are emerging from winter all full of get up and go, decisive and ready for new challenges like a vole coming up from…wait a minute, forget that last part. Super info about the perpetuation of Dog Camp, may it live long and prosper!

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  3. So pretty. And the dogs look so happy! All the best with the move and I am happy to know dog camp will continue. Super nice that you reached out and was able to pass it on. I do not have a dog but I can imagine dog camp to be fun!

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  4. Fall use to be my favorite season, but years ago Spring became my favorite season. It is wonderful to see the world awaken from its winter sleep. Good luck as you enter another chapture of your life Rebecca. May you find that perfect place to enrich your life.

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    1. My Vermont friends just wrote about spying early wildflowers poking through the dead leaves, so I have a feeling I’ll miss the wildflowers here but will embrace what I find there. And of course I’ll plant some wildflowers in a garden at my new home 🙂

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  5. Seeing those wildflowers must be very refreshing after such a long winter of snow. You can feel spring – and change – in the air. I’m glad dog camp will continue and wish you luck preparing the house for sale.

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  6. As Sheryl Crow once opined, a change will do you good RW. And Vermont is a great place to press reset. Lots to do, picturesque and crisp weather. I dig that last one much. Spring for me is when I do my “training” as far as running. Working my way up from simple 15 minute runs to 20 to a half an hour. Knowing that I’ll be ready to go much longer when the days get more challenging.

    And as far as selling your business to people who will carry your spirit of love for it forward? That IS priceless!

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    1. I feel like the universe is smiling on me right now, showing me the path. Things have a way of working out, if we let them. It’s scary to give up “control” but in these circs, I’m just going to lean in and see where this road takes me.

      And yes – spring literally adds spring to the ol’ legs when it comes to running! Some days I feel like I could go forever, but then I remember I’ve got an old dog with me, and I’m no spring chicken myself, so we turn back… 🙂

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      1. Giving up control is a good thing. It allows for a deeper, richer perspective.

        I had such a great run this morning, like you just described. Could have gone on and on, but that’s what wisdom is there for. To shout “Whoa Nellie!”. 🙂

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  7. Great photos of the avalanche lilies and waterleaf plants, Rebecca. Sure signs of spring. The landscape is painted with colorful changes and you’ll soon be finding new landscapes of your own. Good luck preparing your house for selling it. 🍀 Hope it sells fast!

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    1. Thanks, I also hope it sells fast! I’m ready!

      Before long, my blog will be full of photos of the colorful leaves of autumn in Vermont, scenes rare here in Idaho’s mountains but missed from my years growing up in western Washington. All good!

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  8. Isn’t spring wonderful!
    So much change and it is good! So much wildlife is all around again, we’ve missed it.
    So glad a move is all working out for you, your choices sound more supportive for your future, as well as exciting.
    Glad you will remember Idaho fondly. For us it was nature’s wonders that attracted us here. The rest of the Idaho experience has its challenges – and it sounds like you agree with that.
    Very interested to hear about your experience in beautiful Vermont!
    Thank you for sharing your life these past years, I have really enjoyed your writings and certainly look forward to reading more of them.
    My thoughts and wishes are sent your way, for you, Connell and Finn on your new journey. Happy trails in Vermont!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Karen!

      I’ll keep writing, no worries on that count! I’m looking forward to exploring new places, plants, and wildlife, and writing about it all. Idaho has taught me much, and those lessons will carry forward on this next journey. Happy trail, indeed!

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  9. Fabulous images Rebecca! Spring is a beautiful time of year. Full of hope. As you manage your transitions using the mantra, Change is Good, you may also consider, Hope Springs Eternal. I’ll look forward to hearing more about your move. And congrats on the business sale!

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  10. Spring is also my favorite season. Finn and I just spent four days on the Appalachian Trail seeing the flowers and trees emerge from sleep. Despite a bit of a trail fail incident (which I’ll be writing about soon) it was absolutely a wonderful time!

    Have you thought about doing another dog camp in Vermont? Sawyer and Finn could easily convince me to take them in the LeeLander.

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