I was off to Eugene for the weekend, a quick getaway from the GO! GO! GO! rhythm I've had for a while now. It was exactly what I needed.
It's always a good drive, but this time of year it's especially rewarding. There's all kinds of WEATHER blowing around us here in the Northwest, and it's fun to drive through the various phases and leave them behind. It's also lamb season, so the stretch of I-5 past Albany was filled with the usual woolly blobs accompanied by much smaller woolly blobs -- some so tiny it seemed as though they could hardly reach mama's milk.
I also noticed (to my delight!) that daffodils speckled the roadside for almost the entire journey. I can't remember if I've seen them there like that in previous springs. Last spring I wasn't doing much driving, and I suppose the year before I was too busy with my new job to notice? But how could you not notice row after row of happy waving faces like that? Who planted them? I like thinking of some troupe of farmers taking it upon themselves to pretty up the corridor. Or did the flowers get there all by themselves? How do daffodils spread their bulbs? They come from bulbs after all, not seeds. Or do they? I will have to look into this.
Dorothy wrote in her journal: "When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side. We fancied that the lake had floated the seeds ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up. But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing." (From The Writer's Almanac, 4/15/10.)
Eugene was healing for all the usual reasons, but this time we also took a quick rainy stroll through the woods to look at this downed tree Anthony had been talking about, and from there we sat on a wet log over some rushing water.
This is but a gesture, a thumbnail sketch. If I had the time to show you, I would paint it as it truly was; each individual leaf dancing and crisply clear under the dripping canopy of that enchanted wood. But the little flowers were there, part of some other nearby blooming tree. We saw them from the ground and got to climb up through them, almost worth the journey all on its own. There was moss all over the log, which was slick to walk on and squishy to sit on. But also wonderful.
We were quickly soaked through to the skin but we didn't let that worry us. Rainy Saturday adventures are not the time to stay warm and dry. It was too beautiful be worried about such trivialities. We stopped picking daintily over puddles and boggy grass almost as soon as we stepped off the sidewalk. We just squished along and felt all the better for it.