Poignant Beauty on the Olympic Peninsula

It’s a spectacular day on the Olympic Peninsula, not a cloud in the sky and the snow-covered mountains look close enough to touch. This is a gorgeous place to call home any time, but a day like today is a precious gift. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Chief Seattle given during his famous speech in 1854. His reverence of this land, and the ancestors who walked it centuries earlier, is still timely for me.

“Yonder sky, that has wept tears of compassion upon our fathers for centuries untold, and which to us looks eternal, may change. Today is fair; tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds. My words are like the stars that never change.

“There was a time when our people covered the whole land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time has long since passed away, with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory.

“Every part of this country is sacred to my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some fond memory or some sad experience of my tribe.

“Even the rocks, which seem to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun along the silent sea shore in solemn grandeur, thrill with memories of past events connected with the lives of my people.

“The noble braves, fond mothers, glad, happy-hearted maidens, and even the little children, who lived and rejoiced her for a brief season, and whose very names are now forgotten, still love these somber solitudes and their deep fastnesses which, at even-tide, grow shadowy with the presence of dusky spirits.

“Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its winding rivers, its great mountains and its sequestered vale, and they ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely-hearted living, and often return to visit, guide, and comfort them.”

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