The sun peaks between the pillars,
My thoughts dance.
with windy voice.
Branches, birds above me.
Masked figures in hot pink vests
stride quickly by.
I sit, firmly planted,
’til gathered roots are given life.
Unlike the trees,
those silent sentinels,
in earth, in loam, in air above.
I’m bound by limits
my eyes, my mind perceive.
But to be and simply see,
Break through in dreams.
In waking moments, lost in thought.
With all this talk of travel, I often forget to think of home, the place I was raised that instilled in me my love for food, rain and quiet contemplation. Oregon. That oft-overlooked state somewhere in the Northwest, most easily described as being “above California.”
It’s beautiful here, nearly year-round. The spring brings new life — trees, flowers and shrubs in full-bloom. The quiet solitude of winter overrun by squirrels and song birds.
Spring is followed slowly by summer, taking it’s fine time to come around and give us a few steady weeks of sun, chasing away the rain for days at a time. Everything is green, people are happy, soaking in their yearly dose of Vitamin D. When the sun shines here, the rarity of it makes it that much brighter and more beautiful. No one takes it for granted, and the days are long and sleepy.
Summer quickly changes its colors to those of Fall. My favorite season. A rich tapestry of burnt oranges, reds, deep purples and browns — the earth tones Oregonian’s love. Children are raking up leaves, jumping head-first into their hard-earned work, only to have to repeat the process again and again. But they don’t mind.
The air is crisp and clean, a slight chill and the ever-present drizzle purify my lungs as I breathe deep the smells of pine and wetness. Long walks through the tree-filled parks only surpassed by the enjoyment of a steaming-hot latte, enjoyed in a quiet coffee shop, watching absently as cars splash through puddles and boot-clad kids tromp through mud to the doubtless delight of their parents.
In no time at all, the last of the leaves hang sadly from naked limbs. Winter has come, and with it, rain and occasionally a fit of snow, blanketing the landscape in its serene beauty. Cold and bleak, there is no better time to be shut up in your house with a crackling fire and a good book.
The seasons are the backdrop to the beauty of this land. The Pacific Ocean to our West, and the fertile Willamette Valley cradled by the mountain passes to the East — home to some of the best skiing in the nation. Beyond the range lies deserts, peaks, rivers and lakes that are a fly-fisherman’s haven.
Oregon is my home, as good a place as any to return to after tramping abroad.