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  • Tamara Dinius

The Power of Awe

I was reading a book recently that stated experiencing a sense of awe promotes altruism, loving-kindness, and a magnanimous behavior. I believe this to be true. I have been experiencing many moments of ‘awe’ lately and I notice that I am much happier in my life.


The past month I have been spending more time camping and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I spent a night at Fort Stevens State Park and shared my campsite with numerous wildlife. I had an Elk and two families of Raccoons visit me as well as Stellar Jays and Squirrels. The ‘awe’ moment for me was walking the beach and watching the waves crash upon the sand while the seagulls danced overhead. It was such a glorious moment that I could have stayed all day.


At Rainier National Park I experienced the ‘awe’ factor when I hiked a trail to view a waterfall and walked across a bridge to snap photos of the mountain. The sheer size of Mt. Rainier seemed to diminish my very existence and overwhelmed me with the grandeur of its beauty.


I traveled to Olympic National Park and spent two nights at Hoh campground. This campground sits right on the Hoh river and is an 18 mile drive off of highway 101 into the Olympic wilderness. The sight and sound of the river is so peaceful and made me question my hurried lifestyle. The water flows lazily over the pebbles, staying on the rocks for a moment before moving further downstream. I forded the river and wandered its rocky shore as the Elk bugled to one another in the distance.


I have spent nine nights camping the past three weeks and I have more trips planned. The silver lining of 2020 is that I have found more time to experience the beauty around me. I have traveled to many countries and experienced their wonder, but I had forgotten how much beauty there is within 6 hours of my own home.


What are your ‘awe’ moments!


Additional resources for the Power of Awe

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/eight_reasons_why_awe_makes_your_life_better


https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/the-power-awe-sense-wonder-promotes-loving-kindness


https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/why-scientists-say-experiencing-awe-can-help-you-live-your-ncna961826


Bear country! All our food, even our coolers needed to be in the bear box or tucked away in our car. It was sad to see how many people left their campsite with food on the table, fires still going, and trash in the campsite. It's so unfair to the wildlife. Once they get habituated, they are euthanized. We need to do better.

My campsite visitor.

The view from our campsite...amazing to wake up to this view.

Looking up. Some of these trees grow to be 200-300 feet tall. Sure puts my 5'6" in perspective.

The Hoh river....absolutely awe inspiring.

The run off from Mt Rainier. This was a magically empowering moment for me.

Hall of Mosses. I was in total awe the entire hike.


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