At Sitka Sedge
From September 20:
It is looking like suddenly through fumbling around entirely haphazardly over and through the net I have found a blank ‘Word” doc I can actually use on this laptop which I am only borrowing. Whether I can save it someplace to which I will have access later, well, that’s a donkey of a different zip code. The idea is just to show up and begin typing. Hmmm, what was I thinking about while alone on a walk in a nearby estuary state park about 45 minutes ago? What was it?
I found myself sitting on a back-less bench, the warming day brightening through the gray early afternoon, listening to birds, looking at birds. Thinking I liked it, thinking I wished my wife Susan was sitting on the bench with me, thinking I had somehow missed the trail to another bench, yup, on a bluff above the estuary mini-rivers, you couldn’t walk to it unless you were prepared to sink in mud and deal with who knows what creatures lurking in the shallows. I had thought, upon walking out at the start of my hike, that I would find that trail and go and sit on that bench, which faces east back over the perpetual low-tide and seaside grassiness of this place, out beyond Sand Lake Road and over into tall forested hills with tsunami emergency routes slashed up their sides. My plan was to find that trail and hike out and up to that bench and sit in the early afternoon sun, warm and content and quiet with myself, and have my second meditation of the day – formal – and simply “be” out there. But I walked the entire Sitka Sedge loop, moving up and down with its forested eastern edge and then dune sand elevations and dips close by the Pacific, eventually back to where I started and never found some walkway to the south, and that mound, and that bench. So, here back on the back-less bench on the main trail, just out from the state parking lot, I looked with a smidgen of sadness at that desired bench way over there and my failed plan and I had the thought – and maybe this is what I was thinking about back at the cottage — that someone or someones had by boat or barge or other amphibious vehicle actually transported that bench out to that spot and placed it there, knowing it was unobtainable – as in there ain’t no path – and had a chuckle periodically thinking that suckers like me were perplexing ourselves wondering where we went wrong. And I don’t know, it felt worth feeling bummed out I didn’t find the way, along with the old adage “it’s good to have goals” and if something gives pretty much anyone a laugh these days that’s probably okay, unless other humans are getting hurt, which isn’t okay.
At one point I messaged my wife, who I’ve been vowing to myself and doing a bang-up good job to leave alone while she is home alone and I’ve got my kid here and her kid is got by someone else someplace else, but I succumbed to the urge and messaged her while sitting still on this (back-less) bench looking out over this ongoing low-tide marsh, listening to and looking at all kinds of birds, and used the tool that allows you to take a picture and attach it to the text message and sent it, I figured a brief intrusion for all the right reasons would be okay, so I hit “send” and the spin around thing kept spinning around and never stopped – loading, loading – so in fact when I got back to the rented cottage I fingered a new text about how I use to be sitting here at this back-less bench and attached the picture and sent it – way after the fact of the peace and natural sounds – and my wife soon sent a message back saying she was still alone. Which I was happy to learn.