Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Ezekiel saw a wheel a'rollin'

Yesterday I drove into the village for a meeting, running just slightly late as is my (blush) frequent habit. The sun was blazing away on the clean, white snow, necessitating both dark glasses and a lowered visor. But through all this dazzle I could see a big sweep of sky to the north east. There was a bit of wispy cloud and contrail after contrail, some older and spreading, some knife blade new. There must have been close to a dozen in total and one tiny wink of a jet drawing yet another on its route west. I had my camera in my purse. And the title popped into my mind - 'way in the middle of the air'. But I was already so late that I had no time to stop and try to capture what I could see. And, of course, by the time I got out of my meeting it was past noon and whatever atmospheric conditions had preserved so many contrails had changed.

My mother used to fix me with a cold gray eye and quote 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.' This, usually, when she caught me with my homework undone, the yard not raked or some other task waiting and found me with my nose in a book instead. Although far more diligent than I, she could frequently be caught nose in book herself and so she never really did train me into methodical behaviour. And living for coming on fifty years with a chronic procrastinator has not helped. So it is that nine months after we got home, I am finally getting around to editing and ordering the photographs from our west coast US trip last May.

 188/365 Oregon coast at Astoria

Thinking about clouds and horizons, I started in to edit the Oregon coast photos and picked this one for the 365 project's post today. I had no idea that there was so much sand beach in Oregon - I somehow had the idea that the coast there was rocky. But that's California, or at least the part of it that we drove. This photo was taken at Astoria on one of the sand bars that frame the mouth of the Columbia river. And it makes a nice contrast to the thought of the 15 cm of snow forecast for tomorrow.

I love the ocean. Stuck as I am in the middle of the continent, I don't get to the ocean all that often, but when I do I am enchanted. The beat of the breaking sea on rocks, the long hiss of an incoming roller on sand, the indescribable scent of salt water, the wind off the waves streaming over my face, the light on the waves and the sand, all of these are a glory and a wonder to me. Swimming in salt water is dreamlike - the denser salt water is a support and a caress. I learned to scuba dive off the Florida keys and will sometimes dream that I am flying through the water there, dancing with silvery swirls of fish, watching the corals and sea plants sway. I would love to dive in the west coast kelp forests someday.

And here I sit, nose in the computer, with the morning cleanup undone, an agenda to set and various other tasks waiting. Almost I can sense a cold gray eye behind me.

Here's a nice redition of the song.


  1. It took me over fifty years to see the ocean, and I have since seen both more than once. I think my favourite view was at Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park. I could almost see Japan. Not really, it was overcast and rainy that day. When you say "the village" I presume you mean the one with the nature bookstore?

  2. i love the ocean, too. and now live so far from it. but I will soon live on an island. in a river (the DETROIT river, at that) but and island just the same.

    and often run just a hair late. at least i am in good company. your mother's steely eye like my husbands, with that "late again" look.