“It only takes a moment
To be loved
A whole life long” ― Jerry Herman (from Hello, Dolly!)
Since moving to Oregon from Wisconsin last summer, I have had numerous “Pinch me!” moments when I can’t believe the everyday beauty of this place. I live in a studio apartment over the garage of a big house in a forest in the foothills of the Coastal Range. Travelling into town, I pass orchards and wineries and tree farms. My mailbox is .6 miles away. The creek is a few hundred feet downhill. It is quiet, secluded, wild in places, ever-changing, and constantly stunning.
“The moments of happiness –
We had the experience but missed the meaning,
And approach to the meaning
Restores the experience in a different form
Beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness.
The past experience revived in the meaning
Is not the experience of one life only
But of many generations.” ― T. S. Eliot (from Cats)
I often find myself in a moment of profound awareness of the beauty of my surroundings here. I have dreamed of living near mountains ever since I was 10 years old and traveled from the flatlands of Chicago to Colorado to visit my cousins. I was so envious of the views from their home and their proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park. I lived in California for 15 years, but always in a heavily populated area. Here, the mountains are forested and human dwellings are few and far between. It’s peaceful. It’s slow. It’s quiet.
Being part of this Place is a special feeling that I can only realize bit by bit as I get to know each season. I am looking forward to the blossoming of the orchards, identifying new wildflowers, and spending lazy summer days in the cool of the pines.
“Let the moment go
Don’t forget it for a moment though
Just remembering you’ve had an ‘and’
When you’re back to ‘or’
Makes the ‘or’ mean more
Than it did before
Now I understand
And it’s time to leave the woods”
Everyday moments seem extraordinary in these surroundings. I hope I never lose that perspective no matter how often I view these scenes!
Thank you, Tina, for inviting us to share our Special Moments this week.
‘A Glimpse into your world’. Show us the things you love that make your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy. – Sheetal Bravon, host for Lens-Artists
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”
“I can wade Grief—
Whole Pools of it—
I’m used to that—
But the least push of Joy
Breaks up my feet—
And I tip—drunken—
Let no Pebble—smile—
‘Twas the New Liquor—
That was all!”
“You are not a drop in the ocean; you are the entire ocean in a drop.”
“Home is where the heart is
No matter how the heart lives
Inside your heart where love is
That’s where you’ve got to make yourself
At home” – Sally Fingerett
On the first day of this month, I moved into a new home, a quiet sanctuary surrounded by tall evergreens nestled in the foothills of the Willamette valley in Oregon. My four children were all on hand to help me move my belongings upstairs into the studio apartment above the garage.
“Between every two pines, there is a doorway to a new world.” – John Muir
This is actually the first time that I have lived by myself with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and dining room that I share with no one else. The residents of the main house generously share the laundry room, patio, and garden with me.
“A home is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life’s storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
But sanctuary is more than just a place to be. It is also the shelter of connection and hospitality. My daughter-in-law hosted a welcome picnic for me on the shores of Fern Ridge Lake.
And so I begin the process of “coming home to a place I’ve never been before”, and settling into the sanctuary of being myself, connected but independent.
“Within you there is a stillness and sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse