Appearances are funny things, aren’t they? I’m sipping my morning coffee late into the morning, because, honestly, why not? I am “on vacation”, taking some solo time on the coast to meditate, reflect, read, write, and walk. I’ve gotten some good pictures.

I am, in this moment right here, watching the tide turn from the low a short while ago, reversing direction, and now flowing back, with high tide expected at 13:48 this afternoon. Low tide reveals the mud flats of Siletz Bay, enjoyed by the many sea birds that inhabit the area. The birds traverse the mud flats in flocks and individually, seeking tasty morsels in the mud. People watching the birds (and the tides) walk the adjacent beach (and in some cases, right on across the mud flats, too), sometimes alone, sometimes with children or dogs.

Siletz Bay at low tide.

Funny that the water of the nearby branch of Drift Creek seems to flow backwards as the tide turns. Instead of subtle waves that demonstrate the direction that the creek flows into the bay, then on to the ocean just beyond (visible from my balcony), now the waves suggest that the water is flowing upstream… and… I guess it is, at least in the sense that the tide has turned and is now returning the waters to the bay that flowed outward only a few hours ago. My eyes deceive me just a bit; intellectually, I am confident that the creek continues to flow into the bay, and on to the sea, I just can’t see that it is happening, due to tricks of the light on the surface of the water showing me only the most surface movement, which is definitely the tide coming in.

What is “the truth of it”? Well, the bay is refilling as the tide comes in. That’s true. The creek continues to flow from it’s source into the sea. Also true. The tide comes in, the tide goes out, in a very regular predictable way – another truth. I value these small points of certainty in a very uncertain world. Ducks, geese, gulls, herons, and cranes enjoy the shallow waters. I enjoy them as they do. It feels rather as if even the joy itself …flows.

It’s been a lovely couple of quiet days here alone at the beach. This funny somewhat run-down hotel I favor here gives me the room for solitude that I need. They’re very accommodating and appreciative any time I come for a stay. This room is my “new favorite”… Room 310. It’s long past its glory. The upholstery is faded, worn, and dingy – threadbare in places, and of a tired sort of green that doesn’t hide dirt well. The carpet is also worn. The wood furniture is chipped, dinged, and shows signs of age and mistreatment over many years of guests. The walls have been repaired in places, and there are places on the ceiling that hint at past flooding from above. It’s a funny room with a wedge-shaped layout that is a bit more spacious than most rooms here. The small bathroom reflected the care taken by the staff; so clean it almost seems to belong in some other hotel, newer, more modern, perhaps. I feel lucky that the mini-fridge is not noisy (they usually are). This room also has “more view”, with one big window facing the bay, and then the balcony facing the ocean. Lovely. The views are spectacular and have occupied my attention thoroughly.

My days are filled with walking the beach here at the foot of the hotel, and sitting on the balcony, or at the table by the window, meditating, and bird-watching. My head is filled with my own thoughts – and the quiet of wind and waves, and the calls of gulls filling the silence. Pleasant. I could come here often and never get bored. I don’t need much more out of this experience than I am getting; it’s the solitude that I was seeking, and I definitely found it here.

I could have written more. Didn’t. I’ve been content to spend the days in quiet reflection, absorbed in my own thoughts, on my own time. It’s been enough. More than enough; it’s what I needed.

I watch the water continue to slowly fill the bay as the tide comes in. The pattern of sand, mud, water, and waves changes with each tide. It’s interesting to watch, and to note the variations. I find myself wondering, if I sat here by this window watching long enough, would I see the pattern repeat at some point? Are the variations finite? As the bay fills, I see seals in the deeper areas, playfully enjoying a swim. There’s a sandy bar on which they gather to rest and soak up the sun, across the inlet to the bay from the beach where local fishers like to go. The seals and gulls compete with the fishers for the various fish and crabs that are so desirable. It’s a popular spot. Early in the mornings, I walk down the beach in the direction of the inlet, and the ocean, listening to the waves roll in. In the afternoons, I take the same (or similar) walk. It’s convenient to the hotel, and the variety that comes of weather and the passage of time is enough to entertain me endlessly. I’m certainly a long way from being at all concerned about “boredom”. lol

The ocean, visible just beyond the inlet to the bay.

…Tomorrow I return home…

…For now, there’s still today.