View of Mount Rainier from Panorama Point in the Mount Rainier National Park.

Contemplating life from Panorama Point on Mt. Rainier

August 25, 2020


Have you ever seen something that literally made your jaw drop and put you in awe?

Not just like “wow, that’s a beautiful sunset” (although, I’m not judging – sunsets rock my socks!), but something that moves you and feels like an actual shift in your soul?

It’s happened to me a few times. Once was several years ago when I saw a humpback whale breach in Gig Harbor…

…and that same weekend when I was kayaking and a Pacific white-sided dolphin came right up to my kayak. (The audio is soOoOoo embarrassing, LOL, but that’s how excited I was!)

And I don’t think it ever gets old, but Mt. Rainier this past weekend was absolutely incredible. As my friend and I hiked to the top of Panorama Point from Paradise, my eyes grew wide and my heartbeat increased (not just from hiking with a mask on!).

It’s one thing to see Rainier on a commute through Seattle, but to be so close, to have it absolutely fill your field of vision, it’s the most beautiful type of overwhelm. It’s challenging to even comprehend its mass and elevation, even as you see ant-size hikers in the distance trekking their way to Camp Muir.

View of Mount Rainier from Panorama Point in the Mount Rainier National Park.

I could have stayed up there all day gazing at the summit and contemplating how magnificent the world is – and what a privilege it is to be able to witness it. I don’t know about you, but it makes me reflect upon my own mortality and insignificance in the grand scheme of things. We’re a blip on the radar, barely noticeable on Earth’s timeline – but that doesn’t mean we can’t have impact on other people and our world, too.

Tara Brown with Mount Rainier in the background.

Seeing Rainier up close (or massive wildlife or beautiful sunsets) gets my mind racing about what I want my legacy to be; the things I want to see around the world; and reminds me that there is so. much. more. beyond my daily grind. I’m so grateful for these moments that I can feel true amazement and appreciation for the fact that I’m even here; living where I live; loving the people I love; doing the work I choose to do.

And I’m glad you’re here, too, along for the ride. 🙂