land of the lost

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Mark today as failed attempt number 2. 

There’s a certain park I’ve been trying to locate lately.  I don’t know the name, don’t know the location.  And that makes things kind of tough.  What I do know is that the park is (I’m pretty sure) a state park and that it’s on a river–one of the ones that end with ‘ish,’ I think.  And I know it’s north of Seattle, east of I-5. 

Scott and I called the place the crossroads.  The first time we found it was by accident (or, rather, happenstance).  It was a stopping point on one of our weekend drives.  There’s a nice trail that ambles along the north bank of the river and plenty of cool little stopping off points–both sandy and rocky beaches, some more private than others.  We once stood on one of the larger beaches for hours, trying to balance rocks on top of one another (that is, before we gave up and resorted to throwing the rocks in the river, watching as the current steered itself around the piles we’d made). 

And then we found the crossroads.  Towards the outskirts of the park, the path turns northward and juts uphill to a vast meadow.  Someone had taken the time to cut wide paths through the tall browning grass and, in one spot, two paths crossed–perfectly perpendicular.  By the time Scott and I had reached that particular spot, we’d built up quite a bit of energy and a little angst, too.  We were both going through divorces then, and neither of us felt very comfortable in our worlds.  We’d run in to moments like this occassionally, when everything in our lives would build up so much that we couldn’t even talk about it.

So we wrestled.  Mountain style–no rules.  We rolled around in the grass like a couple of puppies.  Both of us thankful no one decided to come far enough along the path to witness our silliness.  And when we were done, we walked away, feeling a little refreshed, a little younger. 

We wanted to go back several times after that, but for a year or two, it was as though the place had disappeared.  We went to where we remembered it being, only to realize we must’ve taken a wrong turn.  (Our only landmark was a pair of horses who were in the throes of passion.  But horses don’t stay in the same place very long, nor can they always be found doing the same thing.)

The last summer Scott was around, we found the crossroads.  We’d eliminated several possibilties and finally decided to make each of our weekend outings a mission to find it.  It was surprisingly easy to find and we laughed at how difficult we’d made the process of rediscovery.  That time, we were careful to make a mark on one of our maps, highlighting the exact spot where the crossroads are hidden.

And lately I’ve been wanting to be there more than any other place.  I want to throw rocks into the river.  I want to sit in the spot where we wrestled.  But I can’t find that map with the mark on it.  And, after two drives north, I found I’ve misplaced the crossroads. 


Author: Kim Sharp

more later

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