Thursday, January 29, 2009
The channel of the Columbia River once ran were my home now sits and I cannot forget that nor do I want to. The Willapa Hills that I see to the north through my window were once the River's bank. For eons the river eroded away the basalt rock, cutting it's way toward it's destination of the Pacific Ocean. From the front window I see The Coastal Range in Oregon, which is the same range of mountains I see out my back window-The Willapa Hills. It is the River that has separated them. But why Oregon calls the same hills the Coastal Range and Washington the Willapa Hills, I don't know. I lived here for more than a dozen years before I realized that this mountain range ran from north to south instead of east to west as it appears to do. So, here I am living on earth that has been washed down by the river and built up on this flat curve of land that is flat; bottom land they call it and for more than a hundred years Willow Grove (a six-mile island except for a few feet of roadway) was full of dairy farms. With Coal Creek slow across the fields from my back window and from my front window the Columbia River with Fish Island as my nearest neighbor; this is an island. One, though, I believe must seek our landscape; reach out to it, if you will, before it will reveal itself. It is worth the stretch.