Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Your Piece of Heaven

One of 10 waterfalls at Silver Falls State Park
Silverton, Oregon

What I consider a piece of heaven on earth: Silver Falls State Park with its lush evergreen forests, moss covered oaks and alders, and ten water falls.  These splendid falls are viewed along a six mile loop, where they spill into a  semi circle of rocks that form a bowl through which a lively river meanders. Some trails lead behind the moving curtains of water.  

The thrill of all that untapped hydro-power, the crescendo of symphonic water music mesmerizes me. Some of the mossy rock walls of this are dripping with fairy falls: streamlets, out of nowhere making their way into the canyon's bowl.  In summer there is nothing more refreshing than to stand behind the falls and breathe in the mist. Late winter and early spring, tiny flowers peak out from where they've been sipping the sweet water. Then paths are slippery even on the driest day. It is necessary to walk with care.

For sure, the path to caring for this piece of heaven we call earth is getting slippery.  We can meet along the trail, warn each other of slick spots, and steady each other along the way. 
  • What is your piece of heaven?  
  • How might you walk with care to preserve the health and majesty of such a place?  
  • How does the way you live at home influence areas miles away, including your own piece of heaven?
Here are some of the things I have been doing all along and some new things I'm adding to my life in order to show my gratitude, love and respect for the earth. I'll share the first 10 I can think of. I'd love to hear some of yours, too.  I'm not sharing them to boast, but to get the ball rolling.  Maybe we can share ideas and learn from each other.
  1. Hanging my clothes to dry, rather than using a dryer, always, even when it's raining (which it does a lot in the Pacific Northwest.) I use a rack indoors.  I've been doing this since forever.
  2. New thing: I'm irrigating my garden with gray water from my house.  Also, I've just started collecting run-off into barrels.
  3. Growing some of my own food.
  4. Cooking from scratch.
  5. Buying as close to home and organic as possible.
  6. Keeping my kitty indoors, so she won't kill wild birds. (And using a litter that doesn't come from mined sources, and is biodegradable.)
  7. Attempting to buy most things used. Curbing my desire to accumulate stuff.
  8. Using public transit, walking, car is last resort.
  9. Changed to those weird light bulbs that save energy.
  10. Getting out to enjoy nature regularly, so I remember how I love this planet.
I invite all of you to share several of your favorite earth-keeping hints and ideas as comments.  


  1. Wonderful post, beautiful falls!

    I choose organic over conventionally grown and garden organically, too :)

    Enjoy the day,
    Cathy of Babbidge Patch

  2. That park looks beautiful! I am fascinated by waterfalls and state parks/nature is my heaven!
    What do I do for the earth?
    -Well I too take public transit! I don't own a car and haven't driven at all since last August. I live in Boston so public transit is easy :)
    -I recycle! I have always recycled.
    -I keep all paper scraps, seems small but I reuse almost all of my weird art supplies/materials and try to be creative finding new things
    -I sit in the park and enjoy nature too!

    I'm sure I do a lot more things but even after my 3rd cup of coffee today my brain isn't working yet, lol :)

  3. Thanks Cathy, for taking care of your personal piece of heaven.
    Hope your garden grows well this year!

  4. Love this picture! My piece of Heaven is Tybee Island in Savannah, GA. I love the history and it's a quiet, beautifully kept beach. Slow going and amazingly beautiful. They are very protective of their sea turtles which I find wonderful. I will be going back in August and will do a post on it I'm sure.

    Never thought of visiting Oregon, but I might now! Thanks for the wonderful post!

  5. Kendra and Ashley,
    Thanks to each of you for your comments! Congratulations on your good efforts. It's exciting to hear about what you're doing to take care of the earth. Taking care of the earth is just like taking care of oneself - part of life! May it give you great pleasure as well.
    Thank you for what you do!

  6. This is wonderful and inspiring post!
    My piece of heaven is just couple of minutes walk from our house - we have wonderful natural parks all around us, with creeks, koalas and so many birds. I love walking in the morning and hear it all wake ups with me.

    My earth-keeping hints are pretty similar to yours. I don't use dryer although it makes it so frustrating in the non-stop winter rains, I walk or bike as much as possible, we are much into slow food and it means we buy only local seasonal foods and cook it mostly ourselves.
    I don't grow my own food yet but I hope to be able to once we will move to a different house with a yard (ours is too small to grow anything on it...).

    Clothes we buy 90% 2nd hand but I must admit it is really easy in South Australia as there are as many 2nd hand stores as there are new ones (or at least it seems to me like there are!).

    Would love to hear more on that subject!
    Thanks for sharing your tips with us!!

  7. Wow what beautiful pictures of the falls.


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