I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. This is true. I also live in the rainiest city in the US – we receive close to twice as much as the famously rainy Seattle and Portland. I live in the midst of a bonafide temperate rain forest. Which is particularly noticeable when returning from the sunny Southwest. Which I just did. After spending 17 days in the sun, to come home to a forecast of consistent rain into the foreseeable future- well I must admit it is a bit of an adjustment.
The weather here does better reflect the inner struggle I am having with the current political situation. While in the wilderness at 8,000 feet, with flocks of western bluebirds gathering themselves up to migrate through sunny blue skies, it all seemed a bit, well, remote. Back at home in what feels like Ray Bradbury’s rainy Venus in his short story, All Summer in a Day, I feel compelled to take more vitamin D, turn on more lights and take hot baths. I am not yet acclimated to my own home.
It was joy to take a trip. I got to see a college friend for a blissful day or so and then traveled to the Gila Wilderness where my sister lives. It was very wonderful to spend time with my sister – and her entourage of creatures – including her husband. After leaving the ranch, we took a day to celebrate Joe’s birthday in the town of Truth or Consequences at a historic hot springs before traveling home. The landscape of New Mexico speaks of science fiction and old westerns. It is so different from the Northwest it is difficult to believe that Oregon and New Mexico are on the same planet. If not for the recognized plants I could easily have imagined the plane as a space ship.
Oh New Mexico we shall miss you, with all of your stones and hard erosion hills, the stars all the way to the horizon, and the smell of juniper and ponderosa pine. Western Oregon, land of moist air and dark winter days, wet miserable chickens and the scent of mold- I am not yet reconciled to your charms.
Give me a few more days.