Location: Eugene, Oregon
I went on a driving adventure today, checking out the country side of Lane County where Eugene resides. From the peaks of the rotation of the hills with each turn we made into the vast wooded areas we caved in awe at the hand of Mother Earth. The temperature nearing one hundred and one as the the sun continued to rise, taking the center stage.
If you have never been to Oregon, two good rules to know are there is no sales tax here (similar to Delaware) and you cannot pump your own gas (New Jersey). When you pull into a gas station a teenager wearing a bright yellow vest will approach your car with a somber look of the forced partime labor their parents made them endure.
Most people in Eugene are very friendly, the area is a melting pot of culture. However, like most places, Eugene, too, has their share of homelessness along with gun control issues. Stopping into a tobacco store Arizona and I met a man, Echo, whose brother was shot a month ago by a homeless vet with PTSD. The vet later shot himself as the police cornered him in a huge manhunt. On top of that, Echo had to have major surgery the day after his brother’s death and still showed up back to work on Monday.
“I’m so sorry for your loss.” Glancing at his dark eyes, “And you had no time to mourn through it all.”
Echo smiled sadly, crossing his arms as he reached for a pack of cigarettes, “Bad shit happens” he paused, genuine peace filling his smile, “And you gotta go on.”
We came back to the Christmas Tree farm, the sun had reached its highest peak of the day and the lagoon was calling us. The trees nestled over the watery oasis, shad lingeriing in all parts. As we pulled off our clothing, down to our underwear we stuck our toes in the water.
“FUCK! FUCK!” Arizona yelled as she jumped back onto the shore. Jeff simply pointed and laughed at her as he climbed to the top of the high dive and dove in. The master showing the young padwan how it was done. She laughed, growling slightly since the sun was still beating down her back and slowly made the bold choice to wade in.
The water was deceptively cold as I shrieked and moaned my way into the depths. However, once you got used to it, it was a god send to the heat. A mixed mut of retriever and hound named Tea took to the water, the cold never bothering her. She had this trait where she would whimper when she is tired, however, she couldn’t stop herself from swimming. Her owners indicated this was a neurotic behaviour that she had ever since she was a pup. On top of that everytime someone jumped into the cool waters from the high dive she would jump in, shivering to herd them to safety. It was the retriever nature within her. This old dog knew her limits but ignored them in order to assure the safety of the humans surrounding her. There were times she was torn between playing and rescuing people.
The trout that inhabited the lagoon would come from the shadows when they felt the virbatrions of food that Lawrence would toss in. The food would float at the top, slowly disintegrating as the trout sensed the food coming their way, coming to collect their bounty. The ripples and vibrations throughout the water as the koi come for their bounty. Meanwhile, Tea would stand watching, panting as she must investigate the commotion. She dove into the quiet lagoon, splashing, whimpering, refusing to cave into her arthritic pains.
As I watched on, I could only reflect on Echo’s words, my journey here thus far and simply from all the negative that tried to take me, “I had to go on.” The warm breeze began to pick up as the sun began to leave for the day and soon the fires would roar with the howls of theatre folks ready to greet the moon.