Wednesday, December 27, 2006

After the Vanity

Clouds are threatening the now-lowering sun by the time we mobilize into the car. "Go, go!" I silently plead, chasing light in my mind.

Joy is taking us up to the headwaters of the Skokomish. We drive past racing rivers and
flooded fields as I add a few more rows to my scarf. "When the banks overflow, sometimes salmon swim down the road," Joy comments. I vow to be there sometime during the rainy season. Oh wait, I am! No fish crossing today, alas. As sodden cattle paddle through their pastures, it's easy to see why the Hood Canal is so polluted.

As we wind up logging roads, the light flirts with the landscape. Their tumultuous lovers' spats take my breath away. My sweet sister indulges me, pulling over frequently. The camera tries desparately to capture the raw and rugged emotion, made even more poignant by the desolate clear-cuts in the foreground. The results are but a reference, a buddhist finger pointing at the moon. "See this picture? It points to the moment where sheer majesty slew my heart."

Snow gathers as we ascend, and soon covers the road. Joy, anguished, turns around. Our little expedition is not outfitted for a wintry hike. We pull into a side lane and park at a loggers' landing site. Determined to get in a walk, we head out into the remains of the day and a once lush forest.

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