There is a small town on the coast of Oregon, called Yachats. It’s pronounced yaw-hots. It’s a lovely little place. Home of the Drift Inn Pub & Café where you can get a great meal and look out at the Ocean. Yachats used to be the home of my friend John. John is, among other things, a photographer. He took this photo of my son, so many years ago, running along the Ocean. Two of my favorite things on Earth: my son Eli and the Ocean.
Just a short drive south on Highway 101 there is Cape Perpetua and the Devil’s Churn. At Cape Perpetua, where, incidentally, my husband wants his ashes to be released, there is a stone overlook where you can see for miles down the Pacific Coast. The Devil’s Churn is a small inlet where the Ocean crashes in and out; it is loud and wet and powerful and constant. A long drive south on Highway 101, to Crescent City in Northern California, is the Redwood Forest. Just right now writing this I had to stop for remembering them.
So much to soothe my Soul around Yachats. If I’m clear about what draws me though, it’s the Ocean. So big. So constant. So uncontrollable. But there is another body of water in Yachats–the Yachats River. Honestly, right there where it enters the Ocean it could go unnoticed because the Ocean, being so big and constant and uncontrollable, just rolls all up in the River’s space. But at low tide, the River becomes more defined: its flow, its delta, its banks.
I am not a travel writer and my point is not to make you want to visit this place; but, of all the places I have been, this collective place is the one I think of the most often. The one about which I say, “We need to go back there again soon, before it’s just me carrying your ashes.” This one place has so much beauty. Great beauty. Great big beauty! And then, the River. I wondered about the River once, being so small and humble right next to the mighty Ocean. But while I was walking along the delta at low tide it occurred to me, or maybe the River spoke to me, that the River never needs to be anything more than a River.