Thoughts after a Trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon

Standing on the beach, peering out at the Pacific Ocean, I looked to my left and saw greenish blue meeting the bold orange of a setting sun. Looking to my right, I was met with the same image. The vastness of this ocean is a paradox. It is both crippling and freeing. It is the very definition of cognitive dissonance. As the breeze hits my face, tears naturally come to my eyes. Cold air didn’t need to assist, I cherish moments such as these. I crave the opportunity to feel small, centered and reminded of my place in the universe. Few scenes provide this opportunity for me, but the Pacific Ocean always delivers.

Snapping picture after picture, the setting sun settles my soul. It fills my view finder. Still, there are pictures I don’t take. Some of these moments are not meant to be shared, liked and retweeted. Some of these moments are meant for me. I am to lock them away for as long as my memory holds. Watching yellow fold into orange and slowly give way to black, I feel the power of a sunset. It is one of my favorite rituals; something I take for granted on a daily basis. I am glad, proud to be here in this moment. There is nowhere else I would rather be.

I am not alone on this trip. I am learning to let someone in. I am letting things progress at a natural pace. Trying my hardest not to force love, isn’t something that comes naturally for me. Usually, I assume the role of a child on Christmas morning. I am way too excited to contain myself and want the reward without the work. Relationships should have a natural flow. In my 31 years of living, I have discovered things need to move slowly and notions of Hollywood, hot, flaming love are overblown. As I stare at the one for whom I am torturing myself, I breathe deeply and gladly accept the challenge.

Leaving the shore and the confines of our wonderful room, we drive the roadside hugging gently against the shore. As I peer over cliffs, erosion is everywhere. Hereto, is a metaphor. Our lives are like those cliffs. The ocean comes with violence. A mixture of salt and spray with each wave it claims a piece of the land for its own. In our own lives, the pressures of this world come from all directions. With each crash, the world makes claims on who we are, where we should be, whom we should be with… This process doesn’t have to be a one-sided relationship. We’ve learned to tame the waves. Fortifying with levees, we have protected what is most important. The same logic should be applied to our own lives.

Pacific Highway 101 is famous and rightfully so. We find ourselves on it for a couple of hours drinking in the scenery. Passing through the smallest of towns, ocean beaches and farm land, the spinal cord of America’s west, I feel free. I feel as if I can go anywhere and do anything. I feel empowered by the open road. I love it like some men love their wives. I will never understand those who refuse to make road trips. The time thinking, listening to music, lost in conversation is invaluable. I could do this for all my life, but alas, responsibilities are calling me home. The Emerald City and her needs are never far from my mind, but rest assured I will be back. I deserve to come back.

Thanks for entering my world,

-Nathan