Friday's Passing Fancy/Poem: Sweet Fire

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

Persimmon bloom dense

with light, hallowed heat,

brilliant with scent that spells

senses and spirit, an ignition of fire,

tender icterine dazzle of petals,

sacred heart secret within coral canopy,

this passion of sweetest fire

and perfection of design:

a revelation of harmony, love carnal and divine

Monday’s Meander: Spring Travel/Yachats–or Victoria?

I have been on lovely area power walks recently but there is, while walking, a rustling about in my brain about my yearly birthday trip in late April or early May. (I missed last year’s as twin grand-babies came about that time–what a present to us all!) And I have been fairly certain it would be Victoria, BC, Canada for the fifth time or the Pacific Ocean for the gazillionth. I was about settled on the ocean after looking through previous pictures, and looking forward to it after months away. Then I was pulled right back to Victoria and Vancouver Island. Such a choice–both are wonderful.

At the base of the Coast Range Mountains, Yachats (YAH-hots) is a prime getaway spot for Marc and me. Unlike some of the other central coastal towns and beaches, it is quieter, smaller (about 750 folks), and not touristy. The beaches are often even empty when we go–not so much in summer– and tide pools are fascinating to explore. We climb about basalt rocks to scout out starfish, sea anemones and rocks and various oddities brought from the sea. Also, Cape Perpetua Scenic Area (highest point on the coast is amid beautiful forests) is close and a great place to hike. So we return year after year, though it is easily a four hour drive over the mountains, then down the west coast via Highway 101.

And yet, everyone who has taken the ferry from Washington State to Vancouver Island to embrace Victoria for an enchanted week knows that it is a place to love for life. British influence is evident architecturally but the varied boats, harbor scene and the fact it’s on a wilder island to explore draws us most. Some of the best food is there, too, and famous Butchart Gardens.

A view of flowers at Butchart
Sunken garden at Butchart

But over the week-end I saw my 14 year old grandson, Asher. He mentioned a trip to visit a maternal aunt in Idaho soon. We talked a bit about the area he’ll be visiting, why he enjoys it so much.

“I’ve often thought of going to visit there–I’ve mostly seen northern Idaho.

“Yeah, you keep saying that.” He half-grinned at me from beneath a flop of hair. “Well, it’s beautiful there.”

He showed me a picture he had taken of the Sawtooth Mountains–he texts me pictures of interesting sights as I do, to him. I had seen some good ones before but was quite taken with the one he showed me. Talk about majestic and bucolic…

“Maybe I should finally go, huh?”

He shrugged in that teen-age way, as if no difference to him– but then nodded. He promised to send me more pictures during his upcoming trip from Bend, OR to Cary, ID.

So today I made the decision. After all, I do crave changing and dramatic topography; the Rocky Mountains traverse Idaho! Thanks to Asher, I’m going to visit, likely staying in the Boise area surrounded by spectacular Boise Mountains. Sights to enjoy: high desert. A city in a river basin within mountains that reach over 10,000 feet. River canyons to peer into or hike. Ranch land everywhere. What’s not to appreciate? Similar to Oregon yet offering newly expansive and fresh sights. We’ll drive through eastern Oregon–oddly not traveled despite living in the NW for 30 years. I am quite excited about a new adventure.

Meantime, plenty of lovely Oregon to enjoy. I will post more of our area next week. Have a happy week or find ways to make it better.

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Monday’s Meander: Down Old River Road

We often enjoy a saunter –or power walk, depending on weather or inclination–that takes us down our area’s Old River Road. This time we also ventured a different direction and discovered a few new sights. One was the cottage above, seen again below. Another was this fancy pink bench right up to road’s edge–no bus stop or pathways. Just a bright bench in case you need a pause. It made me wonder who actually had sat at a woodland byway that does get residential traffic.

A couple of footbridges are crossed along the way. one with an impressive fringe of ferns. I tossed some leaves that twirled down to their destinations. It is that sort of walk…

But the real surprise was this totem pole…

and this delightful home, circa 1918.

I am enjoying every moment of dry weather we still have left in the Pacific Northwest, as temperatures drop, the winds pick up and cold morning fog sets in. Soon the rains will hit and linger for a few months. It is what it is–every season has its beauty. But, my, how I will miss the bright skies and long, hilly walks around and about our small city. Enjoy your week wherever you are. Yet I also keep in mind any Californians who are suffering significant losses again from the raging fires. May rain visit soon, fires be contained and come to a halt!