I live in a high desert. The Oregon most folks think of exists west of the Cascade mountain range. Oregonians know it as the valley. It is green, lush and wet. Vines, ferns, moss grow in abundance, fecund and alive in the green green lands from the mountains to the sea. At least two-thirds of the state is otherwise. High in the desert with sage and sand, juniper, lava flows, trees and…..water. Lots of water. Mountain lakes so clear and deep, glacier fed. River heads flow out of rocks at a trickle and widen into rivers and streams so cold that to step into them causes an ache deep deep down in your bones. Lakes; water the color of gemstones, emerald green, deep blue, sky blue, grey.
In the heat of the summer I migrate to the water. Forget the pools and the resorts, I want the crisp fresh water. Mountains and river, lakes and ponds. The adventure begins in the traveling. A walk or a drive to where the water flow and waits to be delighted in, to hear the sighs and aahs of the first plunge. Swimming among the trees and stone, sharing summer refreshment simply in the course of nature. Frogs croak, dragonflies flit, snakes trailing through the water heads up.
Winter stores up all the grey. We hunker in and warmth is the agenda. Protection from the elements, hot cups of tea, waiting for the snow to melt and the temperature to rise, dreaming of summer….and summer arrives and we expand into her abundance as she flows, flows, flows. Down from the mountains as the snowcaps melt to green our land and refresh our winterized spirits. In the greening, in the wetting, in the hot blush of the day, water is the sweet summer kisses of life.