|Near Dunquin, Western Dingle, Ireland looking west|
As visitors to Cape Flattery we ARE foreign visitors, on Makah tribal lands. But there is no border security here, no ceremony: at the Museum we buy an annual visitors pass and proceed. Janet and I have both been at Cape Flattery before, I a little and she a lot. We do not hope to find ancestral lands, and although we know some of the deeper histories of this land, our reflections are more personal.
|At Cape Flattery looking west from a trail outlook.|
|Chickaree (Douglas squirrel)|
Walter Siegmund (Wikimedia)
|Outlook from Cape Flattery trail|
Here there are no stony treeless hillsides cropped by sheep. Only bits of the world are exposed. We feel our foreignness in a deeply different way. In this great temperate rainforest we are swallowed up by the enormity of trees, and by the history their sometimes twisted growth suggests. We quiet ourselves to the lengthy chattering conversations and songs from Douglas Squirrels and song sparrows, chicadees, and winter wrens.
We come to the end of the path, or at least our hike. The terrain becomes more difficult, and seems to balance on edges of roots and rock. It is not the easy hike hoped for. It probably does not matter that we can only glimpse bits of sea and sky. Much of the living world is hidden from view, hinted at by a nose surfacing above the waves, the rattle of a woodpecker and the blow of a whale, by holes in sand and bark, feathers strewn in a hungry pile, excavations gouged in a dying tree. There is mystery here, life revealed by a raven's croak and a sparrows chip. We pause, we listen, we guess. We are grateful for the gift of where we are.
Photo of Chickaree (Douglas Squirrel)
By Walter Siegmund, via Wikimedia Commons
All other photos Glen Buschmann