Around two thousand four a song by Pat Green “Wave on Wave” was overplayed on the radio and music video channels. I find it to be a nice easy going, feel good kind of song. I noticed that Sarrah also seemed to like this song and one day asked her a line from it “Am I the one you were sent to save?” She gave me a quick wry glance and then that sort of ‘parenting look’, as if to say “You know the answer” (she gave me the same look every time I asked that question). After that day, every time the song played, we made eye contact and smiled. Years later, I downloaded it onto my iphone so we could hear it frequently, whenever the mood struck or the need arose.
Recently I heard Dean Koontz reading his book (on DVD) “A big little life” sharing a similar experience with his dog. He also touched on a belief held by some that dogs contain reincarnated beings, or souls. I, like him am not sure about this, but then I again I do not have ‘the answers’.
Like an early morning drunk, after having sat all night at a gaming table in the dark corner of a garish smoke stained casino, it seems that I had played this game too long. Perhaps like most games, if you are distracted in the process of playing them well and lose track of time, you will eventually lose. I guess sooner or later we all lose, Everything.
To borrow yet again from Don Henley, in his song The Heart of the Matter “The more I Know, The less I Understand” rings true for me, again. Our dispiriting American economic meltdown also known as “The Great Recession” started for me and much of the residential real estate construction related world, in the fall of Two Thousand Eight. My customer base was exclusively new construction driven and all caught up in the terminal economic tsunami. I had earned a decent living for years prior to this carelessly fueled real estate lending boom, rode the waves along with the new “gold rush feverists” throwing up not so little boxes on the hill side and now continue to struggle in the rip tide with those who remain. Most people that I know were greatly financially impacted, many were annihilated. All have been battle scarred. And the nightmare is far from over.
August 2012 I attended a writing workshop titled “Making a Personal Metaphor from the Natural World” by the writer Matt Love at the Alder Creek Farm Conservation Site in Manzanita, Oregon.
Another of Matt’s prompts that day – was to use different blue crayons and draw a body of water resembling self.
My crude picture was a side view of a river meeting the ocean (I was thinking about the mouth of the Columbia River colliding with the Pacific Ocean between Washington and Oregon).
– Then name it
I came up with “Change of Flow”
– The next step was to write some thoughts about our sketch.
I am at a point in my life where, like the mouth of a river meeting the ocean, flow has changed.
No longer going in a predictable direction, now part of a more random, changing… Freedom.
The largely wilder side of uncertainty is both calming and stressful, at the same time.
This change of flow is unique in its position of looking into the future, while looking backward.
The gravitational nature of this place in uncontrolled.
– Next we were to go back and underline the top three words.
– Then write a sentence summarizing our thoughts.
“I am at a point in my life where, like the mouth of a river meeting the ocean… Flow has Changed”
Sometimes even the beach is Ugly
This drawing was a gift to me, from my daughter Heather, of a gift to me, from Sarrah.
We continued to discover and frequent gems of common interest. A favorite was a park, nearby. We became regulars to Salt Water State Park, a nice mile plus round trip walk from home. Here the small public beach is choked by privately owned beaches, sea walls, rock cliffs, logs and rules. The semi-sandy beach is about forty yards by twenty at high tide. Currently more than half covered by the naturally occurring, growing… log pile gifted by storms and kept in place by law. In the summer months the tide recedes further, if lucky enough or planned you can carefully walk out another fifty yards or so, on the Barnacle covered rocks amongst the tide pools. Here at an edge of the Puget Sound, where the ocean’s water works its way around the San Juan Islands, the small waves are more like swells. These tired waves sort of heave themselves, splashing, thudding and pounding against the rocks. Despite its shortcomings, Sarrah loved this place instantly. She would often Insist on going there by taking a hard right, instead of the left turn on our usual daily trek down Marine View Drive. I am certain that my occasional ‘giving in’ further fueled this action, but making time to enjoy small victories is good for all. We probably hoofed that all terrain trek at least five hundred times over the years, and around one hundred shorter versioned, driven in stops.
Sarrah loved the Puget Sound, especially all of the creatures and smells that come with it. She happily stole bits of clam, crab and mussels from harassed crows and seagulls, who had dropped them onto the paved pathways to break them open. We walked the beach in search of sea glass (to collect) and sand dollars (to throw back), along the gurgling creek looking for fish, around the grounds and trails for less crowded nature.