‘One more time around’

Now there’s a new sound in the back yard, the sound from the cottonwood leaves when the wind comes in from the west, and all those tiny hands clap, and remind me of the tide coming in or going out, a schedule I don’t have to worry about, I couldn’t control if I tried. And the moss on our rocks has gone gold-brown like so much of the countryside I remember from the Scottish highlands, all that scabrous land over the hills, and no trees between the ground and sky.

We walk our property barefoot and I cast empty beer cans about, then collect them before work in the morning, think better of it. My dad and mom have been here before to visit, though not together as they’re divorced, and in the long summer afternoons both of them found a similar spot back by the chicken coop to read, and I find myself doing the same after work, with my phone to grab work messages, or to take notes for my blog, or just tune out if I can to the sound of bugs, birds, and leaves..before they get that dry rattle of summer’s end, when it doesn’t take much to pull them down.

And so I went back to albums by Alice In Chains, a band I admired but often distrusted, to see how it would hold up, and with Chris Cornell gone I’ve relapsed to that era’s music, probably not alone in that.

And videos from that time in the mid 90s—but I think some things, many things, are just better left in the past.

Now there’s all happy sun icons on the weather forecast, and I set my first out-of-office since I started work again last October: going to the coast alone for a couple nights of beach camping and hiking, a camp called Mosquito Creek which sounds horrible but isn’t, and a place called Oil City where there’s no oil, and no city…and sometimes it’s true about names, you can’t trust what people call things.

We fell asleep with all the windows open and the sky went from pink and orange to lavender and indigo, and in the morning it did the same in reverse, and the heat came on, and our eyes were all puffy but we made it out Monday morning, and came back home to cook the salmon and potatoes, to finish off the last of the wine from Sunday—and in the morning to look for the moon again, just a trace of it in a sea of blue, easy to miss but filling in, sure to come back tomorrow.

Photo credit Loren Chasse, Portland, OR.

Categories: Memoir, music, musings

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. A perfectly slow, low-key atmospheric reflection to start summer with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like some years and places, we skipped spring it seems! Thank you Joy and happy spring to you, or summer. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’re skipping back and forth here in SoCal — a little spring, a little summer, a little spring, a little winter, back to summer… Well, what counts for those “seasons” here, that is.


      • I didn’t know you’re in SoCal! Cool…I’m heading to the Washington coast tomorrow for a couple nights of solo hiking and camping, with rope ladders and water-filtering from tidally influenced streams. I am going to be like a dog with my head out the window going down the highway. Thank you for reading Joy, hope you are well. Bill

        Liked by 1 person

      • Have a great time in Washington, that’s gorgeous territory up there! I love the image of the dog with its head out the window. That’s me if I’m dropped in the middle of an old city with lots of historic buildings and history museums. 🙂


  2. That’s funny about town names — no oil, no city. I can imagine Hell, California, is pretty hellish though. I know for a fact that Cool, California, isn’t cool. Topping 90 today!


    • How about “Weed?” I had a T-shirt from that place but didn’t find many good occasions to wear it. Do you have AC I imagine? Or do you tough it out, so to speak? I’m glad for a cooler day here. PNW wuss. Bill


  3. Thanks for a lovely reflective look at the things that summer brings. Generally, every morning I read FB, and think either MEH or WTH? Then I open the email and remove about a hundred spam messages, which is frustrating. Then I look through the rest of the inbox, and there is a post from Pink Light Sabre, oh nice. Great way to settle into the day in a better frame of mind. Thanks Bill! Because of you I don’t need therapy after all…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love place names that have retained their native origins. The Maritime provinces have some good ones: Oromocto, Quispamsis, Petitcodiac, Tatamagouche and my own town of Antigonish. Growning up the First Nations community were known as Micmacs, but now they’ve reverted to their native spelling: “Mi’kmaq.” You can’t trust spelling either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we live in sammamish. Heading out around here, there ate many “ish” names. I think I picked up that love of place names in your book, too. I am packed and eager to head west to the coast tonight. Hope you have a good ‘un too buddy. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely vivid imagery, really felt like I was there, thanks


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