Lake Isle of Innisfree
by William Butler Yeats
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
– W.B. Yeats
“Blanca lake trail…you broke my spirit on the way up, and broke my heart on the way down, but we had one hour of bliss in between,” Random Instagrammer. Ha! Yesterday Beau and I hiked to Blanca Lake. It’s the most aqua lake in Washington State. To get there you have to go up steep grueling switchbacks 3 and a half miles up a steep mountain. There was a sign before we started detailing some of the hike and it said it was HARD in capital letters. It was. Beau hardly seemed to get tired at all but I felt like I might pass out every few minutes. I’ve been running a couple times a week so I thought I was more in shape! By the time we were done I could barely walk. But it was so worth it! The woods were so lovely. They were covered in fall mushrooms and turning leaves. Then once we came up out of the treeline the ridge was covered in blueberry bushes and bright green meadow where the snow had melted. Butterflies kept landing on me and little Pikas were peeking out of the rocks.The lake is like something out of a sci fi. I kept having to remind myself that there wasn’t something wrong with my eyes. Beau called it murky emerald. I called it double mint gum. My phone couldn’t capture it, but the waves were an electric green. It looks like it should be warm, but it’s freezing. That didn’t stop people from jumping in though! Girls were laying out on the rocks in their bikinis and dudes had their go pros out. It was a pretty popular spot! But I didn’t mind the company. Everyone was so friendly. It felt like we were all in this crazy hike together. We made friends with the people we kept passing back and forth with on the switchbacks. They had a shiba inu so I felt like I was doing the hike with a fox! Also of note…I counted 10 natural red heads on the hike. 10! 11 including the shiba inu. I’m dying my hair today!
Beau said the lake reminded him of something like The Lady of the Lake or Avalon. It really is something magical to behold! (painting by Arthur Rackham)
I love September. It snuck up on me a few years ago. It used to make me cringe and worry about dark days and school, but now it’s one of my favorite months. It’s still warm, yet the air changes into a golden, spicy, tangible hue. September feels like the hues of an Edmund Dulac painting to me:There’s something in the shadows. They’re longer and crisper, and the difference between golden leaves and dark hollows is more pronounced. I went for a run in the woods today and the valley smelled strongly of cedar and a sweet fruity smell like ripening apples. The earth gave a crunch and dust motes swirled. Autumn is making her way through the wood. I stood on the bridge looking over the canopy and little yellow birds flew from branch to branch. A bright golden bug swirled far away in a shadow. It caught the light and sparkled at me. I imagined it was a fairy. The spirit of fall waiting, perhaps.
You know what’s been whispering to me lately? Ireland. I’m not really sure why. I follow some British folks on Instagram and see their meanderings in the isles, so that made me long for far off sandy coves and green glens, but it’s more than that.
Yesterday I was walking with the boys from the doughnut shop to the library and a little gentleman with orange hair and a plaid coat walked past, then turned, looked me in the eyes, and said, “top of the morning to you.”
This was after the Collins siblings had taken us to an irish pub in Cannon Beach and the place we stayed just happened to have mossy green rocks straight out of a stone circle. I kept imagining I was there as we toured little sea caves and I picked flowers in the green banks along the river.
Then my mother in law pulled a beautiful floral book off the shelf and said, “This book looks like you.” it was a book about a small sea village in Ireland. (I wish I’d written down the name of it…oops).
I have Irish heritage. I have the freckles and green eyes and a red headed mother with Irish citizenship to prove it… but I’ve never been. My family has all been a few times but it’s never been a very large draw for me. But now it feels as though it wants me.
Can that happen? Can a place call to you to come to it? Are the rocks remembering my ancestor’s home and seeking to find her children? Should I go? Or is there still some other meaning yet to be discovered?
Maybe I just need to dye my hair red.
In the meantime I’ll bask in the beauty I got to be in this past week. (All the collage pictures are from Arch Cape and Hug Point on the Oregon Coast) Can you see why I kept thinking of the green isle?West coast, best coast!
Approximately 13 inches by 14 inches, Gouache on 140lb Aquarelle Arches watercolor paper. Available Here: http://bridgetbeth.blogspot.com/2014/08/plums_26.html