Long days riding above Northwest Oregon's average temperatures have given me reason to label this summer as sizzling. Oddly, though, my body isn't rebelling. Where I once fretted at any temperature above 80, with general preference for 70-75 (still my preference, truth be told), I now effectively shrug my shoulders at 90-95. I won't claim to relish the hotter days, but I function comfortably enough.
Probably a good thing. This may become our new normal. And the fires. Once again the western half of the United States rises in flames -- while the eastern half drowns. Smoke tints sunrise and sunset in burnt orange while masking any hopes of mountain views.
Such was my experience during a recent visit to central Oregon where those mountains were merely vague, ghostly images on the horizon - if that. The stars still stunned and delighted me at night, out there away from the far too many lights of suburban Portland. I'd almost forgotten the power of such a view -- only wishing I could have slept beneath the stars as I'd once done when younger, watching for those star-streakers, this being the time of Perseid Meteor Shower.
My days spent biking, hanging out with family by the cabin, by lakes, exploring lava caves. Here's a poem that came to me as I sat on the deck one afternoon, listening to my surroundings.
Music of the Wind
Begins as a distant low rumble
this song of the wind
traveling through the trees,
each needle played for its special
sound, the music blending, growing,
harmonics picked up along the way
until its very present crescendo,
full bore sound and whipped up air
wraps around the cabin,
makes nearby trees sway, and sends
waves of wild air across my body
where I sit, reading, in the shade.
by judy beaston
August 2, 2018