Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Oregonia Lumps

There is a place I covet in my mind that brings serenity and release.  I didn't know this was so until I was led through a sort of meditation and was prompted to rediscover this place behind my closed eyes.  Since then, I return to that place weekly, eyes closed, and feel the feels, touch the touches, smell the smells and hear the sounds.  I shared about this place to my male comrade who simply asserted that we ought to go there.

Well of course.  We ought to go there.  How completely obvious and yet hidden from view this option was.  A few weekends ago was THE weekend, and after a half day's drive, we were practically there.

I was born in Oregon.  I like to fantasize that this gives me some sort of divine right to call myself a native, to say to people that I am from there.  Alas, I can't really pull that off.  Funny thing- as a kid I became quite concerned when the Beach Boys "California Girls" song would come on that perhaps I wasn't a California girl because I was born elsewhere.  I was assured I could be grouped in with the CA girls.  Now, I pine for it.  It sits there above my state, being all gorgeous and lovely, taunting me and calling me like a Siren.  And here I'm stuck.  Now more than ever.  Unwilling to leave family, anchored by my children's needs for stability in this shitty chaos.

Mountain air is not the same as town air.  Have you noticed that warm has a smell?  I want to know
why the smell of warm dirt and Sugar Pine haven't been made into a candle so I can play pretend at home.  The goal: find THAT place, the method: HIKE.  Pounding down the trail together we kicked up red dirt, brushed past the vibrant green soft tips of baby pine trees and listened to the high creaking of towering old trees.  It was occasionally too much, leaving me tearing up more than once with a hard, painful lump in my neck.  It took miles, mis-steps and releasing the idea that my 20 year old memories would serve me directionally, but eventually we made it.  It wasn't obvious at first.  In fact we were there a bit before my breath caught and I smacked my companion on the shoulder exclaiming, "OHMIGOSH, this is IT!".  And it was.  The place from my memory, my serene place of release and calm was right there laid out glistening in the sun rays and bending in the breeze.

Of course, nature could care less if my memory was of a meadow with a bit of a pond/lake in the far reaches.  Nope.  Nature said, "You've been gone twenty years, things change."  The water had expanded and become truly a lake.  It swamped the trail in one spot and completely overtook the cabin that sat in meadow-turned-lake-bottom.  Regardless, it was there.  I tried to lose myself in the shimmering surface of the water and the awe of this vast transformation, but the mosquitoes are thriving there and my collection of welts was becoming a bit unbearable.  So we left.

Our hiking totaled about 14 miles.  My shins and hips complained for a few days afterward.  I hesitated washing the dirt off my body, wearing it like a proud badge of Oregonian honor.  The next day we met up with a man who I haven't seen since I was....5?  Maybe 7?  We got to share stories a bit and I sat in the weird reality of being an adult with kids, the very scenarios that we could remember are happening to our children now and WE are the facilitators.  I was left wanting more, to stay forever.

I felt that way for the whole week after returning home.  I was a bit mopey.  Emotional.  Stuck.  I get a little relief that it is right there, just North.  I can drive there in a day.