by Shelley Pineo-Jensen, Ph.D.
The Coast of the Pacific Northwest is my home. I moved out to the Eastern Seaboard to be useful to my children, but the bulk of my days are spent just with my lovely husband, living in a climate I find uncomfortable with scenery that pales in comparison to that of my home.
I want to breath the air of that part of the West Coast that exists between the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean and the crestline of the coastal range, preferably in Oregon. I long for the place where a stiff ocean breeze blows through town, perhaps loaded with rain, where it’s a 15-minute drive to a beach where I can put my feet in the water and comb the beach for sand dollars. I want to smell coastal chaparral.
I want to linger in evergreen forests and smell the woods. I want to pause in beach dune chaparral and smell sage brush.
I want to come home and have to shake sand off my shoes and wash my filthy feet with a hose near the back door and then have hot tea with my true love while I sort beach treasure I have combed – rocks, shells, and pieces of wood shaped by the sea.
I want to go home.