56605 Sitka Drive
Otis, OR 97368
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Thoughts on Departing From the Sitka Center

Deirdre McLoughlin

dappled light in a glade
gut wrenchingly beautiful,
flinging me back to my childhood,
to the time before
I became a ‘city person’,
flinging me back half a century

Sloshing in the soft earth, rambling around, bending under branches, climbing over trunks, panting up hills, hopping over streams, walking on beaches, bathing the face in the wind, soft air, clean air, wet air. I have felt nature taking me in – accepting.

I move in a different way than in the city where I pad on hard streets in straight lines breathing the breath of others, of traffic, of conditioned air.

In the nature my mind and body has grown free to roam.

These Sitka trees, gaunt old giants with their rotting undergrowth and their old women’s corns and other unmentionable sores have become my friends – though I have been wary that one of them will slay me in a storm.

I was happy here.