Beach Axiom

In my many years of going to Oregon’s publicly-owned beaches, I always try to live by this axiom: don’t expect to find what you want find. That includes limpets, beaverwood, love, forts, wisdom, ideas. Go with no expectations and delight in the unexpected finds.

I recently violated my axiom and learned a valuable lesson in honoring it.

I was after beaverwood and figured a beach that had several small forested streams and rivulets running through it would provide a nice haul. So I went there expecting to find beaverwood and found absolutely nothing. The longer I searched the more I realized I was violating my axiom.

After a couple miles, I gave up, got back in the car, and took the route back home.

Before arriving home, I saw an entrance to a beach that I hadn’t visited in some time because I find it unremarkable and typically driftwood free.

Why not? I had nothing to do at home so I stopped in the parking lot, walked the short dune path to the beach….and beheld a staggering amount of driftwood that measured approximately 500 yards in length! It was all new wood, none of the ancient bleached beauties, and contained more beaverwood in one place than I had ever seen before.

How and why it all gathered at this spot was a mystery to me. Perhaps the wave experts would know, but I wouldn’t bother consulting them.

I collected more than 70 pieces and was astonished at the variety, including sizes and shapes that were previously unknown to me. Some could fit in my back pocket, like tiny ears of baby corn, others were the size of bazookas, and another was an entire alder tree!

It took three trips to the car to load up.

My collection mounts. My faith in the beach axiom is stronger than ever.