I just sat myself down and said…ok, you don’t get to look at your pictures, your notes, your daily calendars and schedules… just sit here, close your eyes and think back over the year. What are the places that stand out? Not regions in general, not communities of people – but very specific places/landscapes that you made you gasp and get teary in response to the beauty?
So, here you go. The result of that reminiscing. I am limiting myself to seven (which is very difficult – there are so many!), and will aim to share one every day this week (in no particular order).
Here’s the first one:
Beach at the end of Obstruction Pass Trail on Orcas Island, WA
So, one of the less enticing things about Orcas Island is that it doesn’t have many shoreline areas that can be accessed by the public. Obstruction Pass State Park is one of the fine exceptions. This park includes an approximately half-mile trail that I followed to a rocky grounded beach that will remain with me always.
It was only Month 2 of my trip, so that could account for some of the awe I felt at this spot…but there was something incredibly special for me here. I didn’t see another human at this location during my two visits, which allowed me the extreme pleasure of feasting on the limitless combinations of patterns and textures and shapes and sizes of the millions of rocks beneath my feet. What artists strive to create, spend lifetimes to achieve – here represented over and over, inches apart.
I sat down on, in, and around the rocks – for hours. Like a child fiercely and joyfully surrendering themselves to the chaotic comforts of a carnival ball pit, I dipped my hands, arms, and feet into the depths of these silky smooth circles. Feeling the rocks shower through my fingers, lay under my legs, vibrate through my skin. I was massaged by their miniature medleys; supported by their speckled souls.
It was hard for me to take my eyes away, to stop searching for and grasping. Because the patterns here – they just went on. And on and on. The “right” one would never be found. In fact, the beauty became more profound with every slight movement of my eyes. I came to realize that there was no way to own it all because the creative combinations had no end. The magic here was layers deep. It taught me not to choose.
This was the first time on my trip that I felt my sensations sharpen and soothe. It was the start of a pattern to come.