Cascadia is the place where water, air and land meet …. … in waves …. … and boundaries.
The stones here …
… are also part of the mixing of water and light …. … in foam …
… just as the mountains are the foam on waves of stone…
… or cloud…
This is life on the Cascadia subduction zone, where the seabed dives under the land and lifts it into the sky. Even the smallest stones hold this energy …
… created as they are …. … out of chains of widely varying, volcanic tropical islands …. … that have crashed like stone surf on the North American shore.They are as varied as each wave is varied..
… broken and welded together time and time again as each wave is broken and reformed. These are the mysteries.
This is how you know you are home. Here the elements are brought together in a roll of eternal energy.
On the other side of the mountains, this roiling surf becomes the story of time, or gravity, which is to put it more clearly.
Here, all life is jumbled together, just as on the stones on the beaches hundreds of kilometres to the west, but they follow each other, each using the water, the stone, and the light in turn.
Already, in early May, the lichens and mosses have finished their half year in the light. Now their winter begins. Their spring was in October.
The cheatgrass that started growing then, is also finished. Look how red it is between the native bunch grasses, which also began growing in October, and are in their glory now. In a few weeks, they will retreat to smouldering green cores, while the lilies shoot out of the soil and catch the bees in the air.
Plant by plant, water is used in a balance with the changing pressure of the air, and so the breaking water of the Pacific is stilled. The wild sunflowers have already put out their seeds, before spring has properly begun. The mule deer have already grazed them off, while the choke cherries flare in the arroyos and the lupines turn the yellow sunflower hills blue.
Wave after wave after wave, that is the action of the sun and the ocean crashing on the continent’s shore.
Those of us who live here …
… make trails, like this mule deer and coyote (and the porcupine in winter) track…
… that flow like water over the land, always finding the easiest gradient, always going to the interesting places. If you don’t follow coyotes and deer in this country, you will get lost. It’s all topsy turvy, in a balance of gravity and wind…
… and water. This is the Farwell Canyon grassland … as much a part of the rainforest as the giant, moss-hung cedars of the Coast, where the winds off the Pacific, and the Pacific’s stone, first strike the shore …
… but here, where they break in foam. This is Cascadia, where even winter and summer meet in waves…
… and mountains speak …. … and shore dunes are hundreds of kilometres inland and lifted hundreds of metres into the sky. It is a sacred land. It is not breaking. It is opening.
There is work to do here.
There are many misunderstandings to be healed. Here is a buck swimming across the Hanford Reach to the plutonium reactors. In a minute he’s going to climb out and walk among them.
Cascadia is the greater reactor.
It has its mysteries. It has an owner.
We are the children here. We are the new ones. The land is old.
It covers our errors, if we give it a chance. It is watching.
It is waiting.
It is on fire.
There is no time at which the fire is extinguished, and not time at which the fire is only fire.
There are words for this.