We have begun an annual tradition. We journey into the woods and invite folks along for the ride. It is a pilgrimage of sorts.

I have found that I go out to the rivers because they do not judge me. I am free to be myself. Free from the concerns of what others think of me (or what I think they think of me). Life’s priorities become clear as I stand with my ankles slowly going numb in the cold mountain waters: community, being centered, the natural world around me, finding food and shelter, and making sure others also have what they need. For me it is a meditation on the simplicity of living.

And in the words of John Muir, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”


I’ll pause for a moment here to state the fact that I love my brother. There are too many stories, tears, quarrels, late night talks, and adventures to recount. This last winter I was blessed with the chance to spend extra time with him on Mt. Hood on skis and snowboards. This photo represents the many side adventures we’ve shared along the journey. I’m not sure how you capture a complexity such as siblings or other family members in a single image, but as much of our lives have been shared along rivers, hiking to fire lookouts, and camping in mossy woods, this moment seems appropriate.