Last Day in Oregon – The Good, the Bad, and the Potentially Ugly

Today is our last day on the Oregon Coast. It’s been good. And not so good. Mostly good. Here’s how it shakes down:

The Oregon Coast is beautiful, as I’ve mentioned before. The green is unreal. Not only are the leaves of the trees green, but moss literally drips from the branches and trunks of many trees.


 See? Dripping.

There are lovely waterfalls.

There are the smooth-as-glass, soft sand beaches. 

There are the cool tide pools, with their tirds of sea stars (I still think they should be called constellations, don’t you?)
And then, for me, there was this moment last evening (fair warning, I’m about to get a little deep and personal on you here):
Yesterday was an in-the-house work day, and by 5:30 I felt an overwhelming drive to get OUT. By myself. Like, a truly physically overwhelming drive. The beach was calling me by name, I swear it.
So I went.
And when I got to the beach, I was greeted by misty clouds and large waves on their way to high tide. A family and their dogs were frolicking to my left, so I went right, down the empty shoreline. Straight ahead, the cape disappeared mysteriously into the sky, shrouded almost completely in a thick, foggy blanket. I couldn’t help but move towards it. You know when you feel compelled toward something and you don’t know why? This felt like that, like I was following some intense, internal command.
The temperature was so oddly warm, and the effect of the misty clouds and waves so ethereal, I was tempted to text Havarti to have him bring the kids to come see it. But the Inner Me said no. This moment is for you.
So I walked. And I ran. And I played cat and mouse with the waves as they rolled in, alternately dashing away just before they touched my toes and then splashing right through them. The ocean speaks my soul’s language, I swear.

And then suddenly, completely alone in this eerie-if-it-weren’t-so-beautiful scene, I found myself overwhelmed with emotion. I lost my breath, tears sprung out of nowhere, and a singular thought pulsed through me:
I am not worthy of this. I am not worthy of any of this.
Just to be clear, what I felt wasn’t a feeling of worthlessness. I recognize my own inherent worth as a unique human being. I’ve never been made to feel worthless, nor do I recall ever feeling that way. This wasn’t that.

This was a profound feeling of humility. This was being smacked with the soul-deep, gut-wrenching understanding that I have done nothing to deserve this much beauty and wonder in my life. This was raw, unbridled gratitude that reverberated through every part of my being and filled me with a sense of awe so great it almost felt like grief. And it just kept coming.

I’m not worthy of this. And quickly following, Please God, make me worthy of this.
So I walked and I wept, grateful to have this little slice of Earth to myself as I let the waves of those two thoughts repeatedly wash over me. I breathed. I prayed. I laughed. And in a matter of minutes, I was walking back toward the house, feeling deliciously empty and whole. And for a moment, as happens on rare occasions, totally at peace and in touch with my soul’s place in the universe. 
So, that was good. 
I hope that wasn’t awkward to share. I assume other people have moments akin to that on occasion. We just don’t talk about them, usually, because they’re hard to explain.

Uh, right?

Anyway, moving on . . . 

The bad things about our time on the Oregon Coast:
– It’s not Southern California. Totally unfair, but true. After SoCal, Oregon had a lot to live up to. Can’t fault it for that, but there it is. 
– Windy roads. You don’t realize how straight the roads are in the midwest until you start driving through mountains. Our drives have been beautiful, but curvy. Our poor, puke-phobic eldest has taken a liking to Dramamine. It gives her peace of mind. Dolittle can literally look down at her lap and play on the iPad for hours without the least bit of nausea. Iron stomach, that one.

– The house we’re staying in is cute enough, but it’s very pet-friendly. This wouldn’t be an issue, except that it smells like wet dog half the time. The combo of being an older home in a moist climate with dogs playing at the beach and then coming here to hang . . . well, you get wet dog smell. I’m not a fan.
– The place we’re staying also has no cell phone access. Oddly enough, if we walk two minutes to the beach, where you’d think we’d have no cell access, we have cell access. But none at the actual house. 
– We are a 30-minute drive from civilization. We’ve officially labeled ourselves city slickers now. The town closest to us isn’t even a one-stoplight town. There are no stoplights. It’s that small. We don’t like being this far from good groceries. We miss Trader Joe’s. City slickers. We’re okay with that.
– It’s been a bit chillier and rainier than we had hoped for June. It was actually warmer when we first got here, but we’ve had a lot of rain this past week. Our last day today should be lovely, though, so we’ll still get one more crack at the beach.

– Our first bouts of homesickness. It was inevitable, of course, and I’m actually surprised it took this long. It’ll come and go as we continue traveling, I’m sure, especially on days when we’re stuck in a house that smells like a wet dog.

– Oh, and there are these lovely creatures. Thankfully, we only saw one this big.

That’s called a banana slug, if you didn’t know. You can see how they get the name.

So, not a lot to complain about. But enough to make us ready to move on from here, which brings us to . . . 
We leave on Saturday for a week-long Baha’i family camp. Havarti and I met at this camp when we were kids. We love it. We’re totally psyched.
Except it’s going to be in the upper 90’s and low 100’s. That’s just ugly. And there’s no air conditioning.  
I do not do well in the heat. My normally delightful demeanor goes totally downhill as soon as my sweat glands start working. It could get very ugly. But I’m hoping for the best, and at least we’ll all be physically miserable together while we’re being spiritually uplifted. 🙂 
So I’ll be without Internet until next weekend, when we’ll be on our way to one of our favorite cities: Seattle. Woohoo!

Assuming we survive the heat, that is. 🙂

And so as not to end on an ugly note, I’ll sign off with this pic of BoyWonder, just cuz he’s so darn cute.

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

Comments 2

  1. The thing is, Annie, you DO deserve such wonder. You bring so much to the world, first of all. But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, everyone deserves such wonder. We just aren’t all lucky enough to receive it. I, for one, am glad a person as lovely, kind, and beautiful (I am speaking internally, but the external is beautiful too) as you gets to experience such beauty. Now if we could just find a way to bring it to every human being.

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