Gratitude at the Jetty

As I was walking in rain along the South Jetty on the Columbia River, it occurred to me that I owed a large debt of gratitude to this place. It had transcended a mere place to visit and had become something vitally important to me.

How many of us recognize when a place becomes special to us? If so, how long does it take to register this recognition?

Long ago, Oswald State Park, Nestucca Spit, a Tillamook County clearcut, Hart’s Cove and Pistol River became important to me in ways I could and could not articulate.

The South Jetty now joins that list. It’s where a magical driftwood fort still stands. It’s where I brought some incredible people to soak in its power. It’s where I commune with bald eagles and taught a beautifully sublime writing workshop, It’s where I took Sonny to the beach for the last time. It’s where I’ve written thousands of lines of prose and poetry. Its where I went to survive the cataclysm of the last three years. It’s where I’ve met drunk Russians and a dying harbor seal.

As I write this, it occurs to me that the jetty has become special to me in a way the other aforementioned places did not. That makes perfect sense. A place becomes special because of some unique quality.

What will be the next special place to emerge in my life?