There I Sat

on a cliff at the edge of the world

The black of the sky matched the black of the water, and the only hint of horizon was the white caps of the waves along the Oregon coast. I don’t think I have ever seen a clearer night, with the moon outshining the stars.

I had packed my car at 9 pm and driven west in search of Aurora Borealis. Although I did not see the Northern Lights, I did find a spider den, shooting stars, and stillness. I let my feet dangle over the ledge and leaned back against the rock. Closing my eyes, I ceased to exist. I tumbled in the water, thundering as the waves broke on the rocks below me. I floated in the wind, up towards the stars. I twirled with the bats, chasing bugs and putting on a show. For once, my brain was quieted.

The thunderclap of a crashing wave transported me three thousand miles to home. I could smell the storm rolling in, feel the dryness in the air before it rains. I imagined chasing my older brothers inside, all cramming onto the loveseat in front of the window, hoping to see the jagged streaks of lightning. It’s those nights that were my favorite—when the power went out, leaving us to watch the sky instead of tv.

Something about nature has always captivated me. My favorite places, my best memories — all outside. I think that’s what excites me most about Sapwood. It’s not the beginning for me, it’s the continuation of the life I've always been chasing.

Linda Parker writes from Portland, Oregon, where she works as an auditor. If you enjoyed this story, follow Sapwood on Medium and Twitter!

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