Three seals submarine into the river. Their heads pop up like periscopes. They are watching me. I wish they would launch torpedoes into the ships of American acquisition and consumption. They are paper-thin vessels. They’d sink fast and divers would find nothing to salvage.
Two geese honk overhead.
Low tide. Mud everywhere. The mud reveals.
I walk over an acre of driftwood and find a tiny light blue glass float, my first such find in 22 years of Oregon Coast beach combing. But, alas, it’s not from Japan. It’s a local bauble, but I like it, hold it aloft, and consider it a new orb.
The amount of beaverwood I encounter is astonishing. I start gathering it up. I’ll need a mule train to get it back to the car, three miles away, straight uphill.
I’m a middle aged man carrying around beaverwood. Have I lost my mind. No, I have rediscovered it.
I find a black Sharpie. I pull off the cap and find a plank. It works! This gives me an idea…
I build a fort over a massive chainsawed round of an unknown hardwood. I count the rings. At least 150.
As I build, a basset hound appears and noses through my backpack and then plops down in front of the fort and begins to bay. I think he’s talking to the fort!
I laugh so hard I feel it through my chest.
The dog’s owner comes up and introduces me to Hickory. They move on. I keep building and building. This thing is going to god.
I think about taking a photograph of the fort with my phone, but the cloud is full and I don’t know how to empty it because I never use the cloud. Hey, you, get off my cloud!
I loathe how the word “cloud” has been usurped. It’s Wordsworth’s word, not Steve Jobs!
Who cares I can’t document my fort with a photograph? I don’t need to show it to the world and enrich a tech giant. It will be seen by people and dogs who visit this secret beach that I won’t possibly reveal. Mystery over journalism.
I write on the round: “Leave a message.” I leave the marker behind and anchor it with a river rock.
I’ve got 60 pounds of beaverwood on my back. I start hiking for the car.