Finding the Big and Tiny on the Avenue of the Giants

Since we got home from our Pacific Northwest vacation last month, I’ve basically been busy in a “middle place”.

There’s been some pulling books out of the brain writing.

Books mind writing - Allocation of Memory Landis art

Saw this artwork – Allocation of Memory by Malia Landis – in a Eureka, California bookstore.

But there’s been more working at the library and house stuff. Did I mention we’ve started the process to downsize from the big house we’ve lived in for 20 years to a smaller one? #emptynestchanges

Northern California road

Yup, another winding, somewhat foggy journey.

But like the road above, the journey has got some cool stuff to discover.

California Redwoods panoramic perspective

Avenue of the Giants, California

Ever since we visited the Redwoods, the idea of big vs. small has been on my mind.

Especially because lately there’s been so much living in the in between space. There’s the daily work Β that has to happen–and even the stuff that perhaps doesn’t (the part where I become one with my TV).

shelter cove California crab

A crab at Shelter Cove beach in California (Sometimes I’m crabby and like to hide too).Β 

The middle, at least for me, is not really the place where I do creative stuff. But sometimes I really like when I have work that makes me feel mindless. Where I can take a break from thinking, I suppose.

Drive thru tree Redwoods California

Drive thru tree. Do not try this at home.

But then there’s that big and small thing. I love when I discover and enjoy those really small things. Maybe it’s a great cup of coffee. A new book. Or maybe, you happen upon a quirky realtor at an open house, who drives a mini Cooper (complete with British flags covering the side mirrors) and tells you a funny story (in an accent of course) and just makes you laugh.

tiny snail avenue of the Giants California

Or you find a TINY snail on a leaf in the middle of all those giant Redwoods.

Then there’s the big. For me the Big Picture is made up of the dreams and hopes and awesomeness (read: whatever is your personal fairy dust) Β that honestly make me feel like ME.

California redwood

When I first walked through the forest of gigantic trees, I thought, It’s nice to be tiny. I could breathe (and it wasn’t just the woodsy freshness). In that moment, I wasn’t in charge. And honestly, I felt relief.

I can just be.

But then lately, as I step away from the middle place and participate in my BIG: write, doodle, find the story in a photo.


I feel relief too. And I need to make the time for my big stuff–as well as note all the good in the tiny joys

snail California Redwoods

Another Redwoods snail

–because then, not only can I just be,

I can just be me. πŸ™‚

Note: The Avenue of the Giants has a picnic spot and Los Bagels in Eureka, California is a great spot to grab a gluten-free lunch before driving down.

gluten free man hole cover cookie Los Bagels California

They have giant gluten-free cookies too!

What tiny joys make you smile? Have you experienced the Redwoods?Β 

Happy Monday!



25 thoughts on “Finding the Big and Tiny on the Avenue of the Giants

  1. Those are the coolest photos, Coleen! I would love to go there someday.
    I think there is a lot of truth in writing to escape. I have done that and it is the best therapy especially when I’m worried about something I have no control over.
    Good luck with the move and the writing.


  2. I love the shot of the tall trees. So pretty. Good luck with your downsizing. The hubs and I will be doing that in a few years too. It’s amazing how much stuff a family can accumulate over the years.


  3. I visited the redwoods many years ago. It is an awesome experience. My took us on 6-week camping vacations to see the national parks a few times and I’ve visited many of the sites you’ve shared. I applaud your doing it later in life with your husband. Your pictures are always inspiring.

    We downsized about 12 years ago after our kids were on their way. Best decision we made. Didn’t need all of the house, and we live in a patio home (one floor) in a neighborhood with other empty nesters. My husband is older than me and it made sense to go to one story. It was fun to get rid of so much. I hope you have fun looking, planning etc. Just another journey.

    Also understand your middle space. Have been there many times. πŸ™‚


  4. As writers, or any kind of creators, I think it’s important to always make time to do what you love for just you. To escape. We have to keep some of it simple and pure, without all the molding to make what someone else deems acceptable. Writing for only me is my way to relax and remind myself why I love to write.

    I’ve never been to the redwoods, but it’s on my list of places to go. That forest is magnificent! So are the snails. πŸ˜‰


  5. Coleen, I hope all is well – love the photos of contrasts – big and small, it’s all relative isn’t it? Good luck with your transition and keep posting photos from the Northwest Passage. Clay


  6. Yes to the redwoods, both the Sequoias and the Coast Redwoods. (I lived in Central Calif. as a kid and we used to go camping every year in Sequoia National Park.) They’re awe-inspiring and do make you feel like you’re just a small piece of everything. So glad you could get there!

    I really like the correlation between big and tiny things and the big/tiny parts of our lives. I hadn’t thought of it in that way, but you’re so right. I live in the middle quite frequently (as in: too much) because sometimes the big is too big, and because of that, I don’t think I have time for the small. But there’s time for each part of me, and the middle is okay too. Thanks for the insights!


  7. I am so glad that you and hubby seized the opportunity to visit the Pacific Northwest and in particular, the Redwoods. I was born and raise in California, so I’m familiar with that area and spent a lot of my childhood camping there. Drove through the tree, walked among the giants. The beauty is something that can only be appreciated in person. And it’s sad because the drought is killing those trees. Who would think that northern California would be in this predicament. They always got drenched. It will be interesting to watch how things play out. Meanwhile, I do wish you the best with your empty nest and move. It’s a huge change Coleen. So take your time in the in-between. ((Hugs)) πŸ™‚


  8. Coleen on a trip long ago to the US I did experience the redwoods and it blew me away. Majestic is a word I would use. Having said that the snail is just as beautiful in his own little way. Wishing you much success where ever your path leads you. Love your photo’s always. LIVE LARGE and celebrate the smallest of miracles in your day. Kath.


  9. Though we’ve never experienced the Red Woods, Mathair and I call the Smokey Mountains are home and are surrounded by natural grandeur that serves as our inspiration. Of course, we do find the joys in the small stuff. My favorite being a good book, a glass of wine and a bubble bath. Mathair prefers music, Nirvana more specifically, a cig and a cup of coffee. It’s the little things in life that make us smile and simplicity has such beauty to it that we try to embrace it every chance we get. We had to downsize when we moved from Florida, but we don’t regret it for a second. Since we’ve been here we’ve started writing together, I’ve got my own place, and we’ve found such great friends. Best of luck to you on writing and the move. BTW, beautiful pics.


  10. Reading and looking at the pictures you posted of the Redwoods made me smile. It’s a walk down memory lane when my family and I (including my elderly parents) rented a huge van and drove up from Sacramento to Oregon through coastal roads and towns. There’s a particular “hush” and peacefulness I felt walking the trails surrounded by redwoods that I will never forget.


  11. Hey Colleen — lovely photos as usual. I used to actually live about 50 feet from a redwood grove, so I’m familiar with how humbling the experience is and the cool (as in temperature and also in the sense of being rad) the ambience is in the presence of the trees.


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