Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Weekend at the Coast

Sunset at Lincoln City

A curious seal

Sun break on the ocean

Siletz Bay tree

Happy dog chasing the seals

Crow's feet

Lincoln City Beach

Another sunset view
I just returned from the Central Coast of Oregon where I took a class in Writing and Selling Nature Essays at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. The class was taught by Melissa Hart, a professor at University of Oregon, who also teaches an online class in memoir writing for University of California, Berkeley. Her class was amazing - she taught so much in a short six hours and was very generous in sharing her resources. Eight women from Oregon and Washington, some new to writing, others already published, attended the class and shared stories together in this peaceful and remote area, with a stunning view from every window. We learned that vision is our strongest sense and tends to dominate our stories. So we left the classroom and went outside into the trees and closed our eyes to hear the birds and the distant thunder of the ocean waves, used our fingers to feel the soft, velvet moss on rough tree bark, and used our noses to smell and taste the salted pine air and pungent loam beneath our feet. After the class, I drove to Lincoln City and walked the beach, searching for treasure and enjoying the sun as it set behind a fog bank. After spending the night, I left to explore other beaches in the area, stopping at Siletz Bay where I watched a happy dog chase a herd of sea lions off their cozy sand beach and into the cold waters. All too soon it was time to go home, but rather than my normal route, I chose to meander slowly through the slow back roads, exploring towns I had never been to before and did not know existed. There is so much of the world we don't know and miss in our travels over the interstate. Yet, in these places, history is alive and once experienced, stay in our hearts forever.


Suzanne Reynolds said...

Your post has made me long to be at the coast, Jan. Sounds like you had a very inspirational weekend. Lovely photos!

Mary lin Huskamp said...

WOW! What BEAUTIFUL pictures! Thanks for sharing.


Michelle said...

Just beautiful. I particularly love the stunning photo of the crow against the sand, though all of the art on this site is amazing.