What You Can’t See

If I haven’t posted enough photos or even taken enough of them in the first place, it’s because there is simply no capturing the beauty of this coast. The words “jaw-dropping” and “breathtaking” and “stunning” and “awe-inspiring” and all the others we Anglophones would normally apply to the vistas I’ve spied around a hundred unassuming corners just cannot approach the dumbstruck sensation you feel staring out at this particular edge of a continent.

I could try to describe the view today, turning a corner out of windy little Port Orford, the ocean licking at an orange-gold shore, extending in emerald and aqua and cerulean and aqua again, on out to a white fizz that bubbled into a low, hue-matched cloud. I could try to say why the seastacks, which would likely just look clunky and unremarkable on land, will stop you at the side of the road with their shimmer and bulk, their bulwark against the waves. I could explain racing the clouds out of a seaside town, their rippling massage of shadow on the pavement ahead of me, always ahead of me.

But I can’t do any better than that. I can’t wish you into being here alongside me, whooshing past clearcut acres with phalanxes of same-fated trees advancing green-gray into the horizon. I can’t smile with you at the parochial and grandstanding signs, “Home of the World Famous Hot Dog” (?) or “Legendary $5 Growler Fills HERE” (that is legendary, though).

What I can do is hope that you have just as much magic in your own day. Or that you choose to see it. Or that it stumbles its way into your unsuspecting path, perhaps even inconveniently. Magic is in the commonplace and prosaic. It is is the familiar, approached from a new angle. It is the slightly different commute to work, the extra block walked on your way home, the shop you’ve passed a hundred times finally given a jingle of the little bell above its door. By you.

I took this trip to find something that I wanted to believe was always there to begin with, in my surroundings and in myself. I am collecting pieces of it, like shells gathered on a beach and filling a pail. It is overflowing at this point, spilling over. I hope yours is, too.

7 Replies to “What You Can’t See”

  1. Thanks for the reminder to look around. But there is nothing like the ocean, cliffs and your adventure!

    1. I suppose! Very lucky to have this particular moment to myself. I’ve gotta hear more about your own travels at some point, too. Phone date when I’m back online? XO

  2. I could say the following about many of your written observations going back about 25 years, and I’ll say it about what I just read: Rather brilliant and beautiful, I must say. I’ll add “inspiring,” thank you very much. Really, Serena, uplifting.

    Your writing does take the fortunate reader along with you. I feel it frequently as I follow your updates. And I love it.

    So grateful for and proud of you. Stay safe, punkin. Love ya.

  3. Geeze Louise… I almost started crying reading this blog entry because of how beautiful it is. I may not be able to see what you see (until I do this bike trip with you!! That’s for another day… Ü), but you certainly made me feel deeply just how majestic these scenes really are. I’m so proud of you, my dear sister! Keep taking it all in. I love you UTTSABA!!

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