Untamed at Champoeg State Park


A little story about the September card mailed to our Gratitude Club members this month.

Oregon’s Champoeg State Park has the most glorious hayfield. This is not an exaggeration. As an in-a-previous-life portrait photographer I took countless photos there as the sunsets lit up the sky and my clients’ faces. Golden hour was a dream at Champoeg. I could count on it to be untamed and uncut.

Roadside fields are unreliable. One day they’re golden and gorgeous. The next day it’s all just dirt. Fields grown and farmed for human benefit. At Champoeg though, the field is habitat. It feeds and protects the wildlife. It also frames the most beautiful sunsets. And deer are nearly guaranteed to make an appearance.

I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want.

Andy Warhol

On one outing at Champoeg I turned my camera away from my client to capture a gentle doe leading her babes through the tall golden grass. The scene makes me think of our kindness leaders. People who gently introduce us to a world or wonders.

In these first days of a new school year, I hope you find gratitude for the teachers, coaches, mentors, and parents leading our children into a new season of growth and exploration. Where kindness leads our hearts follow.

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