Riding Amtrak from Portland to Edmonds, Washington where I will then take the Kingston ferry to meet up with my Kauai Habitat for Humanity buddies for a rendezvous in Port Townsend. Time on the train provides rocking space for daydreaming, reflection, surrounded by green landscape and the punctuation of the train soundings off its lonesome whistle.
I left home last Friday and spent the weekend in Cannon beach with my lovely daughter, Molly, who moved to Portland last winter. That ocean Zen experience was followed by a conference at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Portland, on the waterfront. Workshops, keynote speakers and conversation with interesting participants left me inspired and looking forward to a soothing four-hour train ride.
It is a bit strange because at times I nearly forget I have a life in Boise and consider simply remaining out here, in the Pacific Northwest, closer to the ocean and soak up the coastal climate. The train snaking its way through valleys and fields of brilliant green terrain with red barns occasionally peaking though the thick trees encourages me to stay.
Stunning flowering bushes splash their yellow brilliance along the route. I don’t know what they are, but they line the rail path and spread themselves throughout vast meadows. I am making myself crazy trying to get a picture of the yellow carpets that unpredictably emerge between thickets of trees. A patch emerges, I grab my camera and the moment passes. I refrain from lunging across the seats of other passengers to snap pictures on their sides, and finally decide to put my camera away. Time to soak up the view, and attempt to paint a picture with words of the cheerful impact their abundance creates.