(Travel Journal, 2021-04-30, Poulsbo, WA)
I sit in the Bear’s Den sipping my mug of coffee and writing, as I’ve done almost every morning for fourteen years here. But now I’m sitting on the carpet since the furniture was moved out by the movers during the last two days and the cabin was cleaned by my hardworking wife (who is asleep in the trailer up by the garage). I sit in an empty cabin that has hosted so many experiences.
The life we led from here—Keyport Bible Church attendance, Bible studies, choir singing; USA Dance friends, dances, and leadership; Winter Club friends, dances, and leadership; West Sound Conservation Council letters, meetings, and leadership to save the environment—and all the activist friends involved, and later Kitsap Audubon Board membership and 350 West Sound Climate Action protests—and all the advocating for environmental legislation in what was a successful legislative session for 2021.
The cabin served as the base camp for our hikes up Mount Townsend, Mount Eleanor, along the Elwha River and the Hoh River and many other rivers, up into the gorgeous Seven-Lakes Basin at the foot of Mount Olympus, Paradise and Sunrise Hikes at the base of Mount Rainier, to beautiful places along the Washington coast, such as Cape Flattery, Pacific Beach, and Kalaloch.
So many wonderful memories: salmon cookouts on the deck with family (my retirement, for example) and friends (dance friends, for example). Guitar playing on the deck or sipping a beer and reading. Watching ducks on the water through a telescope and seeing hummingbirds battle at the feeders.
Birds in the adjacent forest twitter and chirp in the morning. I’m going there now—outside—with my mug of coffee to sit on the steps and listen to the birds of the morning and look at Port Orchard Bay and the trees (big leaf maples, towering Douglas firs, madrones) and the bushes (Oregon grapes, Evergreen huckleberries, Nootka roses, snowberries, red flowering currants) and the clouds and the sky.
Overcast, water rippled by the wind, the sound ff wind in the trees—as it often is here in the rainy Northwest. So much vegetation. I’m glad that we left an ecosystem at our home filled with plants and animals (deer, birds, raccoons, squirrels, slugs, spiders) rather than cutting it down.
The last paragraph of the last morning of writing in our dear cabin. We venture on to our next phase of life—touring the nation’s national parks and other wonders. New experiences and new writings. As I did so much here, I will also do there—thank God for his wonder and timelessness and life and love of life, and I will thank him for our years in his nature and for the phases of life through which we pass.