Secret Estuary

In a dream I found a secret estuary along the Oregon Coast. It was so real, so vibrant a place, that my mind painted a pointillism portrait of it. Strike that. It was a fresco.

There I was, walking down a river trail, through sedge, wild strawberries and willows, toward the mouth, the ocean, and the river ran green with swirls of blue. There was a roiling of the colors. The wind whipped up some whitecaps and an assortment of waterfowl swam here and there. They paddled upon little waves generated by the incoming tide. Ancient and massive root wads clung to the edges of the channel; they weren’t going anywhere unless the 100-year flood arose.

If I could live in a tree house with a view of this river, I would do so.

This river is a river of Oregon literature, of a classic lost novel that only two people in Oregon have read in the past 20 years. It has been inexplicably purged from libraries and the lists of the new Oregon literati. How does one go about reversing the fate of this novel? It feels almost hopeless to try. But I will try. To try is to honor this river and a writer who prowled this river over a half century ago.

How had I never found this trail? This river? In this dream I found it. I now know it exists and I will become close friends with this river and estuary very soon.

The dream ended with me sitting on a wooden picnic table, a table bleached gray by the rain and covered in lichen. The last thing I remember was writing in longhand and thinking of the great mysteries I would soon contemplate through my writing at this lichen-encrusted table.

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