Thursday, June 30, 2011

Deception Pass

Everlasting beauty in a fleeting gesture. A fall of the hair. A conviction. There's a grasshopper sitting on a brass fire hydrant. I can see its reflection. Can it see mine? The mist clears just enough to see the Olympic Mountains minutes before the sun sets. That burning feeling in your lungs after a hard day's ride on Pacific Coast Highway that lets you know you have really maxed it out. The nurses letting you hold your new baby minutes after he is born and letting him suck on your finger for the first few hours of his life while his new mother sleeps. Singing great old blues tunes at the top of your lungs with the car windows down and having a beautiful woman tell you it's great. A shy smile. Take a long walk barefoot and just feel where you are. Four, five, six, or even a million dimensions is still limited thinking. Some truths are self-evident but you still have to write them down down to make them real. I will never figure people out and they will never figure me out. But who cares? Flaming red hair and cute little red Ked's. Long philosophical discussions where no one is right and no one is wrong.

On Whidbey Island I know of only one beach with regular sand. I didn't go there much. There is a "beach" with nothing but small boulders and washed up deadwood. When you run on it you have to watch where you place every step. With each of those steps your legs get stronger even as they grow more weary. Heightened awareness till your feet almost place themselves. You now know where every stone and branch is without looking - almost. But each step could still break your leg.

Deception Pass is right around the corner. You should see it in the evening. The sun casts a shadow of the bridge against the cliffs. If you jumped off that bridge it might take a full minute before you hit the surging tide. Not that I've timed it, but it is a long drop. The cliffs go up a couple, three-hundred feet and then the redwoods go up another fifty or so. When you round that corner with exhausted body and hyper-aware mind, those cliffs, the shadow, the ocean, the redwoods, the mountains, and that delicious air consume your whole being. Some would call it a spiritual experience. I just call it wonderful and know that I miss it. What's curious is that I am only just now learning to leap through life the way I leapt across that beach.

Written Jan. 7, 1996.

The contents of this post is Copyright © 2011 by Grant Sheridan Robertson.


  1. I spent much of my childhood on Whidbey Island. Traveling through Deception Pass in a small outboard motor boat,particularly when the tide is running, is an exciting experience.