No Wrong Seasons

“For some things there are no wrong seasons. Which is what I dream of for me”

~Mary Oliver

First, let me say that our weekend trip down the coast was just lovely. Blue sky, no rain and a view I could take in for the rest of my natural life. The “sea stacks” along the Oregon coast are fascinating and a bit mystical in their lore. How lucky we were to be living right in the heart and soul of an ancient story. 

You can read more about the sea stacks here

(Of course I love the native people’s story of Face Rock the most. “Its native people’s origin story is a wild one and striking as well, telling of an Indian girl who was lured out to sea farther and farther until she was turned to stone, along with a pack of kittens nearby.”)

Face Rock

There are other stacks and named rocks too. All have names and stories.

It’s a long drive from where we live. Over 400 miles each way. We made good use of our space and managed to be reasonably comfortable. (Next trip we will have a THULE roof box to hold our gear thanks to a sale over the weekend at REI).

But here’s the thing, and I have to say it plainly: one shouldn’t have to travel hundreds of miles away from home to find some relief from a constant assault of senseless, random explosions. It is unconscionable to discharge illegal “fireworks” in areas where living things are vulnerable to the noisy, bone rattling blasts. It is selfish. Dangerous. It’s just plain wrong. 

Remember what Fourth of July used to be about? Family, fun, freedom. In my neighborhood, all the families would gather in the cul-de-sac for the evening excitement after an afternoon BBQ. We had sparklers and creepy little snake-like things. There were Whistling Petes and the occasional fountain cone. The Dad’s kept the fire. In the morning we would gladly retrieve the remnants and fold back the charred, black powdery layer to expose the Chinese newsprint that was wrapped beneath. 

The night was magical and the morning was an excavation of ephemera.

(Kismet for the creatives) 

Simpler times. 

No mass shootings. 

No M-80 explosives for weeks on end. 

People cared back then and I like to think that we protected one another. Is it really a stretch to think kindness is at our core? Now, more than at any time in my life, I don’t know if it is true. 

But I digress. 

The weekend saw a few new “lifers” for my bird list (I’m about to hit 200!) and some peaceful walks along the ocean. 

While I heard a handful of “booms” it was nothing like the war zone of home. Yoda was the best travel companion ever and he slept like a baby on the Fourth. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

The beach itself is an elixir. Life imitates art. The sea exposes the most beautiful creatures as the tide recedes. You can walk below the towering coastal rocks and marvel at the colors and movement of sea life. Stacks are formed over time by wind and water; processes of coastal geomorphology. There are thousands of Common Murres covering Face Rock and Tufted Puffins can often be seen nesting in the jagged formations during the summer months.

And then there is the light … 🧡

This morning I started an audio book that was returned to the library several months ago before I could really even begin. It’s called On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. I am in love with the story already and have a good drive planned Friday to get some traction. It is beautiful, beautiful writing and I can’t help but think it reads like an antidote for something. Or maybe for everything.

While it is technically summer, the spring temps are hanging on for dear life. What you call it matters little. It is the season of hiding my neck. The season of light meals and stiff joints. It’s the season of slathered sunscreen and poorly fitting hats. It’s the time of year I obsess over twilight and long drives to new places. It’s the season of rolled down windows and rolled up sleeves and flip-flops and PB&J.

I quickly realized how refreshing it was to step away from technology and news and noise. We played card games and napped and walked barefoot on the beach. There is so much to fret over in this complicated time and so much work to do, but we need to build up our reserves in preparation. We need to feed the lovely beast of self so we can endure the unimaginable and fight the valiant fights.

Everything grows and everything dies. It’s just the way it is. I’m not sure what part of the inevitable rise and fall I am living right now, but I won’t waste a moment wondering or worrying. I’m off to pack up for my first good hike of July. Stay tuned. “The mountain is calling and I must go” (Thank you, John Muir)

No wrong seasons.

16 Comments on “No Wrong Seasons

  1. Your monochromatic photo of the stacks is stunning. Just stunning. I just finished reading Jim Lynch’s novel “The Highest Tide” and I’m yearning for the coast and tide pools. I visited the southern Oregon coast a few years ago and it is easily one of my favorite places. It still seems so wild and raw, compared to the northern beaches. I like the places that are a little harder to get to so they’re not as tourist slammed. Thanks for sharing your time there, and the recommendation to read Ocean Vuong’s book.

    • Thank you, Jennie. I love the more dramatic, less people-y places too. Oh, and that book by Vuong reads like chaptered poetry. It is beautiful, almost lyrical. I love it.

  2. I absolutely LOVE Bandon! It’s probably my favorite place on the Oregon coast. I know I haven’t been commenting lately but I wanted to let you know I’m loving all your bird photos. They are amazing! As someone who tries to photograph birds I know how difficult it is to get a good image of our feathered friends. And you have succeeded in a big way.

    • Thank you so much! Some folks may not fully appreciate the commitment it takes to get that one good shot of a bird. Thanks for noticing. I have become so much more patient and attentive because of it. Thanks for the visit here.

  3. This post was on point in every way. Thank you for sharing. XO

    • Thanks, Shawna. So many early memories of being at the Oregon coast with family 💙 This southern coast was new to me and I loved the chance to take it all in and reflect. Thanks for writing.

  4. I am copying some of your language into my journal to feed my soul–maybe print out one of those sunsets to paste along with the calligraphy…privately held, but a reference point to carry with me for the duration of this volume of pages. Thank you so much!

    • Oh how I love seeing your name pop up here* To be in this place at this time felt like the perfect antidote to all that ails. It acted as flash point and tether and I so loved breathing in that air! Thank you for reading.

  5. Beautiful. And the sunsets. Wowza. I’m so glad that holiday is over for another year. Did you get to the beach trash museum? Now I want to go to the Oregon coast again.

    • Never made it to the museum. It was closed Sun, Mon and we left early Tuesday. Next time! This part of the coast was new to me and I loved exploring the beach. It centered me. Thanks for being here.

  6. Thank you for the ridealong. That last picture of you is like one of the sea stacks – you belong there, and have stood the test of time. Beautiful beaches, birds, sunsets, and thoughts.

    • Beautiful, Bonnie. It has been some time since I’ve enjoyed the Oregon coast and your words and photos brought me right back.
      In these times of fear and grief there is beauty and grace.

      • Thanks, Mo ! Glad to see you here. It was the antidote for so many things. I highly recommend this spot on the coast. Those stacks are amazing.

    • What a lovely perspective! It was pretty awesome. One does get a sense of belonging on the coast. Self disappears and we are at one with, well … everything! Thanks.

  7. Amazing and enchanting and gorgeous and insightful (no surprise there!) and did I say e n c h a n t i n g…? Simply Beautiful, Bon, and once again, I am vicariously refreshed by your words and images.

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