It's been a good week. Or a mostly good week. A pretty gosh darn fairly good week. I pause and take notice because of how I moped as the season turned, along with covid and politics and blah blah blah. But sometimes you just get a break, and things look pretty good, so I'll take some time to feel the joy. And write this quickly, in case.
It's only early November, I remind myself. Not winter, not February, not Iceland, I'm not homeless, the election will be over soon, and the only stuck thing about me is my mind. Get a grip. Time for a retreat.
Alan's birthday is as good an excuse as any to gather family at the beach. We've been together forty odd years (both meanings, yes). It all worked out somehow, and here we are, with a family we love, in a new state we've learned to love, and a coastline we've loved since childhood. Now I've discovered my new favorite Oregon beach town. Manzanita is the perfect ratio of beach to town - seven broad miles of soft pale sand, flat and firm, and a short few blocks of town.
I've been trying to write about our anniversary hike up Cascade Head for a week, trying to strike a balance between the joy of ascent, hard work, and achievement with pain, suffering, and aging. It was a beautiful hike and all's well that ends well, I just didn't like how hard the hike was on my body, and I waver between "suck it up" and "badassery" and "when did I get so oooold? It's made me rather grumpy I must say.
A pink sunrise and calm seas was an auspicious start for our return trip home, with stops at churning, restless waters, grand bridges, stunning viewpoints, and a steep muddy hike.
When we planned this four day vacation last month, I assumed it would be a storm watching trip, and found a hotel with lots of windows right smack up to the water. I envisioned cozy indoor time in our little nest, gazing out at the wild surf.... The rain swept in as a steady flow from the south. Looking out the window started to feel like being snow blind - white on white, with barely a glimmer of blue or green.
Day two of an Oregon adventure. Setting off southward, we drove and stopped and drove and hiked and drove and stopped some more. That's the Oregon coast, thick with rest stops, viewpoints, waysides, and more. You can't get far because you want to stop at them all.
Finally, everything aligned, and it was time to get out to the Oregon coast. I packed every bit of warm clothing, binoculars and bird books, notebooks and fiction, and we set out to the south in a drizzle. The sky was a tumult of grays and whites, and we drove over rivers, between pastures, past wetlands and bogs...
The power of moving water that has traveled many miles is a mighty sweep of mind that displaces all the detritus and details and picky little annoyances of life, and smashes them to bits, and brings me back to nothingness - more than than I ever get on the mat or on the cushion or by watching my breath.
After the planning, the waiting, the prepping, and the packing, driving out to the Oregon coast from Portland is a dreamy transition. Then, Pacific City's wide empty beaches are all ours.