Confessions of a dilettante

I confess it surprises me to come back to the blog after weeks away to find a crowd of people were here the day before to read what I hadn't written. Thank you for persevering! I'm sorry I'm not a more consistent blogger. In fact, I don't think I can claim that title; I'm a dilettante.

I haven't written for a number of reasons, but mostly because it was August, the last real month of summer, and I wanted to be outside outside outside. Real summer doesn't begin in our part of Oregon until late June or early July, and being such a short season it demands our utmost attention. So much to do!

Unlike summer fall arrives too early, though is not to be despised. Ours demanded that I remain outside admiring the turning leaves and fading blossoms. Our several aspens and newly planted vine maple continue to enrich our mornings with gold, though the skies are now gray and rain threatens but never arrives.

A neighbor and I have been doing at least one walk/hike in nature each week, in addition to my daily circular route and her walks with two dogs. We've hiked around Suttle Lake (a favorite), and up and down the Metolius too many times to count. On Sunday we'll hike part of the Whychus Creek trail, a new route reported to be lovely.

Nature is a wonderful antidote to the drama and pain that's being hurled our way every day. If I couldn't put my feet onto a rock-strewn path beside a lake, or wonder at the sparkling clearness of a river, or reach out and touch the bark of a tree, I would certainly be depressed. Instead, I am optimistic. All this turmoil is surely shaking the roots of our collective psyches—if they have roots—and with luck we'll find ourselves opening to fresh new ideas and rigorous change.

I hope that you too can find solace in a walk through falling leaves, or a hike to a favorite spot when the news gets you down and the world is too much with you. Perhaps you will find comfort knowing that you're not the first to complain.


The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

The sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. —Great God! I'd rather be

A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

                       —William Wordsworth, c. 1802