Sweeping views, up close micro-views
I spent the trip looking for sweeping views, I wanted to see big, grand mountaintops, tree lines, river banks, and we did. We saw it all. when we came back home on Sunday evening -after unloading, and unpacking- I took the dog for a walk and I noticed that I was lost in discovering the giant, ancient Douglas-fir close-up. And I realized that the amount of time spent discovering the sweeping, big views, meant that I didn’t make much time for inspecting the micro-view. We have the ability to shift perspective in this way usually depending on the complexity of each moment. Sometimes I use the big picture approach when it calls for the micro-view perspective.
It seems that when the situation is highly emotionally charged the perspective gets smaller. I become more guarded to my position and completely forget about the big picture. How can this change? The answer may lie in time. Within these situations there is the immediacy of the back and forth, there’s no time to step back and get a clearer picture. But if I know that this is what is required then, why not? Time traps me into thinking that I have to stick to this position in order to prove the point, in order to get this desired outcome. Like a spotlight my view of what’s going on get’s smaller and smaller, until the heat singes my brow, and I get more and more stuck in to my position. Forgetting entirely about the love that has brought us to this point, and the after effects, and the dozens of years from now that might pass and this fight, this viewpoint, may not last.
I spent an enormous amount of time searching for birds, that I never could see. Rarely would I see a robin, or a jay, or a woodpecker. In the early morning around 5 am they were singing, all kinds, hundreds, dozens of songs. And around 6-6:30 they stopped. Went to their homes or high in the canopies to clean and sunbath. And for the rest of the day we were hard pressed to see any. Had I the fortitude to get my ass out of the sleeping bag I probably would’ve been in for a show, but the best that I could do was listen to the harmonies of the cheery fellows working for their morning meal.
The campgrounds in the area were all pretty busy and the lake even busier, I suppose the birds in the area were used to all the commotion and had many years of experience hiding away. Even the trickster robin did not seem too keen on playing any tricks.
Sitting so still,
Like mosquito husks.
Time to write a journal
I bought and brought with me a new travel journal. I was so excited to use it that I decided to forego the fishing (which turned out to be the only fishing we would get to do) in order to write a few notes and sketch. It occurred to me how silly it was to think that I could get time enough to write out some thoughts and be “in the zone”. I always have this ideal of going out and taking a notebook, sketchbook, or journal and doing a hike where I find a spot to hang for an hour or so and experience writing or sketching in such a serene environment. The kids are in constant movement and need for change, disruption of what is just well enough, that we usually get five to fifteen minutes or so depending on if we have a snack. This skill of hanging back and letting nature unfold around us, in order to discover more of her secrets, is lost on them, and me, as we constantly set out to discover what’s new, what’s next.
Sing me a song,
My little lady.
So while I was expecting and hoping to get the kind of views and time that is an immediate inspiration for poetry, unfortunately the trip didn’t allow it. I have to trust the moment was lived well enough that it sunk deep, soaked into my consciousness and will eventually come out, like a spring, in due time.
Lake Bumping is a man-made lake and dam from glacial runoff waters. You can see the stump of trees that were chopped down in order to make space for the lake. The river, Bumping river, carves it’s way through the valley floor and connects with the larger, perhaps natural American river. All along the Bumping river are campsites and trails. RV’s and pickup trucks lined the road, having made a space for their campsites in the turnoffs. Other designated campsites line the river and there must of been thousands of people in the wilderness area over the fourth of July weekend. So much for the solitude of the wild. Still though we found some spots that people weren’t so keen on degrading, like the American Ridge Trail, which has few reviews and is rated ‘hard’ so few were interested. We made the trek though and were pleasantly surprised at the views once we reached the top. I think the trail keeps going and connects with other trails in the area, but we were happy enough with what we found.
Perhaps it is from this vantage point that it became clear that the amount of people in the area were like an invasive species to the lush forested area.
We brought back with us some species of spider and larger than life ants. I’m not exactly sure where they scrambled to when we unloaded the truck, some hiding and living out the remainder of their life in our SUV perhaps, others making a living in our planters by our front door. Either way since we were on the other side of the Cascades it seems entirely possible that these guys are not from around here and so we may have introduced life to a new and strange ecosystem. Oh well, we did what we had to do. But it occurred to me when I saw the little spider scurrying off my hiking bag and into the crack of the lift gate, that perhaps this is how we’ve been getting on for centuries, adapting and evolving, and that no matter how hard you try to ‘leave no trace’, you are always creating change in some aspect, unwittingly most of the time, so you might as well get used to it and try to make the change for the benefit of yourself and others.