Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Spirit All Its Own

    SCREEN GRAB/ADDITIONAL EDITS BY RUTH RADER

A mammoth storm system is slamming into the Pacific Northwest today...and especially into Oregon's coastline.

The red arrow on the map (above) is pointed at the purple circle that indicates where I am at
the moment. I am inland, thank God...and away from the highest winds and the heaviest rain.
It is gradually getting colder here and I am struggling because I don't have the proper warm
and waterproof gear.

But I am inside. Because of some merciful angels, I am inside now. I spent the other night
sitting in my wheeler on the side of the road. The rain fell and slowly began to make a
popsicle out of me.

Then the angels intervened.

Now I am sitting in this motel room.

                                          ALL PHOTOS/EDITS BY RUTH RADER

And I am thinking about Manzanita.

No one ever seemed to care about me in that small town beach community. No, they never
did.

I spent nights in Manzanita over the years. And I usually sat at the picnic table in front of
City Hall.

Sometimes I sat there in Summer and sometimes in Winter. I huddled at that table with
a sleeping bag wrapped around me and other times I sprayed DEET all over my t-shirt and
shorts.

But if I was hungry, thirsty or cold...no one in Manzanita ever cared.

When I came to Manzanita...I was on my own.

When people walked past me, they never responded to my hello. And all the dog walkers
pulled their pooches away from me and kept on walking...silent and staring straight ahead.

The barista at the local coffee place by the bus stop always looked down his or her nose at me.

I was tolerated in Manzanita...but I was never welcome there.

Sometimes, late at night, I would look up at the stars in the sky and wonder what the people
in Manzanita would do if my shoe suddenly laced up on their foot. Well...now they're wearing
that shoe.

I wonder how I should feel about that. Should I feel concerned, empathetic and inspired to help them?
Or should I feel vindicated now that the citizens of Manzanita are finally swallowing a long-overdue
dose of karma?


What is the fair and Christian attitude to adopt now that Manzanita has been brought
to its knees?

I will sit in this motel tonight and then head back out on the road tomorrow. And the only
thing that I will know for sure is that, despite everything...the ocean will always have a 
spirit that is all its own.




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