Perspective Photo Essay Photography Top

Finding solace in my forest

Jaime Terada/YJI

Delta, British Columbia, CANADA – In a world so far away from normal, places of comfort are more important than ever. For me, peace comes when I am outside.

I live beside a forest, and have lived within it, too; it has grown up with me.

The creek was first a swimming hole for my Barbie dolls, then a moat that guarded my secret hideout. Now it is a place to sit beside with my friends.

The canyons, the trees, the trails; they have been my places of play, relaxation, and comfort my whole life. They have been a home.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the outdoors proved itself a welcoming ally in so many people’s lives. I spent more time than ever in my forest. It showed me calm, it showed me fresh.

It showed me that life still holds so much worth smiling for.

Nature – the forest and the water’s edge – helped me notice and celebrate the small things. And now, when a year of pandemic limbo makes hope hard to come by, it’s especially important to recognize the beauty of everyday life. 

Simply being outside doesn’t bring me comfort, and neither does my forest.

For me, comfort isn’t a place. It’s a cherry blossom, a wet sidewalk, a grey sky. It’s a perspective, a choice to focus on the tiny and the gorgeous that, together, frame our everyday life in loveliness.

Comfort appears when, even as the sky is falling down, we can notice shapes in the clouds.

This photo collection is my noticing – noticing that beauty, noticing that life.

These are my moments of solace at home. 

Jaime Terada is a Junior Reporter and Photographer with Youth Journalism International.

A beached sailboat lays abandoned on a Pacific shoreline not far from the author’s home. (Jaime Terada/YJI)

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