Thursday, January 22, 2009

time out

"Take the time to breathe deeply of the things you love about your area. "

Nancy passed along that note of encouragement this week. And a well-timed reminder it is.

I start each day walking the dog. "Walking" is too big of a word for what we do. I merely accompany the dog while he goes about his business of being a dog. His nose is in high gear while his legs are stuck in first. It takes us about a half-hour to wend our way around one city block.

The pace gives me an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the cycle of life around me.

Since late December, two factors have altered our walk. The first is the simple joy of having just a bit more light every morning. With light comes life. I now see geese commuting from their refuge to their day job of guano-ing public places. And flocks of crows off to do whatever it is that crows do. There is a song sparrow that perches in the neighbor's maple tree, and sings a repeated trill that evokes the rapture of the laughter of women.

But there has been a second joy for the past week or so. Oregon is noted for its wet winters. Not so, as
Beth has noted in her blog. We have had unusually clear weather. Each morning I have witnessed a sunrise that only Fitzgerald or Turner could capture with their muse-freed tools.

The trade-off for winter sun, moon, and stars, of course, is unseasonably cold mornings. The type of cold where the mind is focused on the clear border between life and the "undiscovered country."

Nancy is correct. I need to enjoy as much of this now as I can. With two more full moons, I will be retired. With the third, I will be in Mexico.

There is a certain irony that
Cynthia, Mike, and Sitka are headed to Salem, just as I am preparing to head south to Mexico. But that, too, is another cycle to be savored -- one day at a time.


Anonymous said...

hi steve,

what a lovely post. reading it was the perfect way to start my day! thanks for sharing.

i am trying to figure out how long it will take me to get to salem. how far is it from seattle, timewise that is?

have a great day!


Steve Cotton said...

Teresa -- Thanks for the comment. It was one of those posts that literally flowed. It all started with the song of the sparrow.

I usually plan 4 hours driving from Seattle to Salem. An hour to Olympia. An hour to Longview. An hour to Portland. An hour to Salem.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info. when cynthia and mike get settled in, i'll contact all of you to see what time would work out best for all of you to have me visit. have a great weekend!


glorv1 said...

Very nice and relaxing post. Thanks Steve. My regards to
Mr. Jiggs.

Donna said...

I truly enjoyed this comment Steve. I could just imagine all the sites and sounds you wrote about. I live in the great state of Texas and we have been having beautiful days as well. Today is forecasted to be 80 degrees with a bright sun shining down. Once you get to Mexico, I am sure you will enjoy the warmer winters and the opportunity to continue to live well and not hunker down for the rainy, cold winters in Oregon. I am happy to see a native Oregonian move out of state. Most I have met are content to stay put. Best wishes on your adventures in Mexico. I am sorry I won't get a chance to see you before you leave but you may wake up one morning to an RV with 2 Chihuahuas in your driveway for a visit. Life is funny that way!

Steve Cotton said...

Teresa -- See you soon. I hope I am not out of town when you come down.

Gloria -- Thanks for the compliment. Jiggs sends his regards.

Donna -- What a nice surprise. And such kind words. I missed you at Christmas dinner this year. We have been having unusually cool weather. There is talk of snow on Sunday. I am ready for that adventure. Stop by any time when I get down that way. No driveway for an RV, but there is a park in Melaque.

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

What a picture!

Living in Seattle we could see the Cascades to the east, the Olympics to the west and when crossing the Montlake Cut on I5 we could see them both at the same time. Even in DF, we saw no Mexican mountains with the same majesty.

I had pics of Seattle over my desk in Guaymas and occasionally I would weep looking at them. I guess I wasn’t really ready to leave the great NW.

Anonymous said...

It sounds a lot more lovely than getting up and shoveling snow, which is what we here in Boston are doing with our mornings these days.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where between lawnmowers in the summer and snowblowers in the winter, we have to savor the spring and fall even more.

Steve Cotton said...

Cynthia and Mike -- The picture is not from my walk. It is merely evocative of the mood. But I know what you mean about the sheer beauty that surrounds us in the Pacific Northwest. The area around Melaque reminds me a bit of the Oregon coast, but without the great old trees. it is nice to know that Thomas Wolfe was wrong. You can return home.

Kim -- My mother's side of the family were clever enough to abandon the 18th century winters of Massachusetts. Of course, they did not get it right immediately. Moving to Quebec and then northern Minnesota indicates there was a certain nostalgia for harsh winters. But they finally got it in right in the 1920s by arriving in Oregon -- joining my father's family, who figured it out a century earlier.