Sunday, January 3, 2010

Soapstone - 3 JAN 2010

I'm sitting in my eyrie now, watching night sneak through the woods; it's going to catch up with me in about half an hour.

Right now I can see a big mossy tree, reaching its pale fingers toward my window.

Little green ferns punctuate the trunk. There are ferns everywhere. There is water everywhere. Everything is green.

I love Oregon.

Today was a brief respite between rain and rain, so I brought in wood from the woodshed with the wheelbarrow.

I like the rhythm of feeding a wood fire through the day. The Queen (as the big stove in my part of Soapstone is called) has a little window in the door, and I sat and watched the fire I'd made as I ate my breakfast.

This afternoon, A. asked if I'd like to join her for a walk up the logging road -- a path mentioned in our materials. I thought that sounded grand, and it was!!!

We walked down the road a little, then up the logging road, through the trees. Up, and up, and up some more. I'm woefully out of shape, but we didn't rush -- just walked steadily along, listening to silence.

We went left, when the paths diverged, then left again, and I'd recommend that route to anyone who finds themselves in the wilds of Nehalem.

As we rounded a corner, we came upon a good-sized coyote. We stopped, and he stopped.

We looked at each other for a while. A. and I looked at each other, a little nervously, maybe. I'd been keeping my eye out for deer or raccoons or birds, but this was a coyote. Finally I raised my arms, and he took that as the signal it was -- he went his way, and after a brief pause and discussion, we kept on hiking up the trail. He didn't look threatening, and he didn't look hungry. There seemed to be enough woods for us to share.

We walked until we reached the end of that particular path -- a high, circular meadow, with evidence of campfires and a great view of the forest below. There were clear cut sections, and there were sections thick with old trees and overgrowth. In Oregon, there is always the struggle between loving the forest and needing to use the trees it has in such abundance.

We made it down in good time (and a little less huffing and puffing on my part). No more animals, or at least none that we could see. A few cars passed us, once we'd reached the road, and it was startling to see them. We are in the wild here. Not entirely -- not far -- but far enough in to breathe. Far enough in to sync the blood running through our veins with the sound of the river below the cabin. Far enough.

It's dark now. My mossy tree is just a shadow, although I can still see her white fingers.

Time to go downstairs and make some supper and feed the fire, then write deep into the night.

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