The Low Road
Gorton Creek · Columbia River Gorge · Cascade Locks · Oregon · USA
Sundays are a perfect time for an afternoon stroll as the work week looms nigh and the imperative to recenter oneself hits a fever pitch. All the better when low summer flows encourage rock-hopping along a scenic creek bed beset in a verdant forest.
I'm no more nor less human than anybody else, nor have I ever pretended to be. Under duress I'm just as prone as anybody to engendering false first impressions, making hasty judgments, and allowing rash emotional reactions to supersede measured responses (just ask Ashley about the magical 'spells' I cast at fellow road warriors in the maddening ebb of Portland traffic).
Whether the seemingly unending erosion of civility and the prospering of hate and xenophobia is reflected in the acrimony and divisiveness that suffuses social and mass media or whether they're products of them (at least in part), the normally automatic call to 'do the right thing' has, for me, gotten a fair bit harder. I've long known and been taught that it's completely illogical to fight fire with more fire, and yet that's the destructive seductress that seems to beckon so temptingly when we're feeling unjustly hurt by others.
Footbridges notwithstanding, breaking free of human constructs into the nurturing arms of nature simplifies this life for me. It facilitates a mindfulness within that comes under daily fire by the cacophony of human savagery and tragedy that characterizes modern-day America. Out here, the wind whispers, the leaves rustle, and the birds sing their songs, oblivious to the hard angles and data streams that define our daily manmade existence. Out here, taking the low road becomes a bona fide option...one that lets you feel the pulse of the earth with your own.