Written by Panorama resident, Tam Alden. Video produced by Panorama residents. January 2019
One of the joys of living at Panorama is that the Chehalis Western Trail borders the campus. The trail is a tremendous asset that I enjoy. I can boast that I have ridden my bike from Woodard Bay to the “T” at Highway 507. Not all in one day, of course, but still – been there, done that. On one autumn day a lowly little crabapple stopped me in my tracks. In my zeal for exercise and fresh air, I had never noticed the crabapple tree growing alongside the trail until it tossed one of its apples in front of me. I passed it by and screeched to a halt. “Might make an interesting photo,” I thought. I turned around and squatted down to rest my iPhone on the asphalt for a close-up portrait of the apple with my bike in the background. I was so delighted with this photo that I picked up the apple and took it with me. Suddenly, my focus changed from trying to best my previous speed record to slowing down and looking at the trail with fresh eyes, searching for other unique places to take apple photographs.
Until the apple became too old and wrinkly, it was my companion. I took it with me walking around Panorama and that tiny apple introduced me to the campus in a detail that I’d previously not noticed. The apple and I even saved a life. As I watched with horror, a honeybee flew into the fountain pool located between the Aquatic Fitness Center and the Auditorium. The precious honeybee would have certainly drowned. I floated the apple in the fountain pool to give the wet bee a life raft so I could lift it to safety. I left the bee to dry in the sun where it efficiently squeegeed off the water with its tiny legs before busily getting back to work. Without my iPhone camera and the apple, I would not have noticed this drama taking place.
I still power walk and ride my bike from place to place on the Panorama campus, taking advantage of pickleball, ping pong, water volleyball, bocce ball, Pub Trivia, Spanish class, basket weaving, needle felting, movies, book club and entertainments at the Auditorium (whew!). However, I also now take time to stop, slow down and really see the amazing detail of the world in which I am so blessed to live and to marvel at my immense good fortune to live in the best place on earth – Panorama.