Birthday Fort

On my birthday, I rebuilt a fort in the dunes, the one I thought might never need rebuilding. But that is the nature of driftwood forts. Let go. Let it fall. Let yourself imagine a new fort from the remains of the old fort. Of course it can’t look the same.

The materials from the original fort are there—they live on. Those who carried the materials up from the ocean that June weekday on a glorious Oregon field trip were my students in what turned out to be the last official experience as a high school teacher. It all ended on a beach for me.

Will those carriers remember that day? They have no responsibility to remember or rebuild. Others come along and rebuild.

As I built, I noticed someone wrote on a piece of wood, “Fort Do It In.”

How lovely! I positioned this piece front and center for all visitors to see.

Others will name it another name. All manner of rejoicing, grieving, marveling, wondering, crying, loving, lusting, reflecting and toking will go on inside the fort.

And perhaps, a few will take up my offer of the tin box, note cards and pen, and leave a message of what transpired—in their hearts and minds or with their bodies, And of course, there will be nugs left behind, sweet sticky nugs.