Tuesday, August 3, 2010

All is Calm, All is Bright...

Again, after spending a few days in downtown Portland, with all it's traffic and people and activity, and before going to Vancouver for an event scheduled for Thursday, we were looking forward to a nice private, quiet place in between to hang out for a couple of days.  Hadley's Landing off Sauvie Island seemed the perfect destination.

We had hoped to be the only boat at the dock.  But there was a small boat already there, with a man and woman who emerged, ready to assist us with docking.  We all introduced ourselves and Bill and Carol returned to their boat.  While we set up chairs in the shade of the boat and waited for the engine heat to rise and dissipate, I could hear the noise of a meal being consumed and the clean-up that followed.  We then did our own food preparation, consumption and clean-up, and set up to watch a movie.

It takes alot of effort to be quiet.  If this other boat had not been present, I am sure that we would have gone about our activities with abandon, unconcerned about disturbing anyone else.  But the mere presence of one boat had subdued me.  I did not want to disturb them--they HAD been there first, after all.

We do lots of reading, which is a quiet activity.  But as it grew darker, and the mosquitoes began their exploring, we moved inside to watch a movie borrowed from my daughter so that we can return the stack of them this weekend when I go to babysit.  Was our volume up too loud?  There were no lights visible in our neighbor's boat, and it was after 10:30 before the movie ended.  I moved to a seat at the back of the boat while Al took care of the disc and computer.

The water on the Multnomah Channel was very still and smooth.  I could actually see the stars reflecting on the water!  I am not sure I have EVER seen that before.  Can a place be TOO quiet?  Every sound was magnified.  A heron's cry startled me--I always think of Pterydactyl's when I hear them.  A mosquito whined in my ear.  A jet plane flew overhead, lights flashing among the stars.  I leaned back and looked to the stars.  I was facing north and easily found the Big and Little Dippers, and Polaris.  Twice, I saw the streaking flash of falling 'stars'.

Though it is a Christmas song, the words 'All is calm, All is bright...'  came to mind.  But it certainly wasn't a Silent Night.

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