Last week, I mentioned how I have come to embrace the gifts of Summer. I left offerings and did ritual to honor Helios rather than curse him. But, like any other inflated male energy, the asshole won't die off without a fight and, take down as many people as it can. The Sun, and the heat it brings mixed in with global warming created a massive heatwave the Pacific Northwest has never experienced in all of history. For three days, and nights, Washington and Oregon felt like Las Vegas. This is a region where Central AC is not common in many households. Mine included. Yet, unlike many natural disasters, we knew this one was coming so, we were able to prepare.
Sadly, my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) did burn me. We left SoCal to avoid this type of weather. I felt so bad for the unhoused, vulnerable communities and those who don't have basements, a way to get to the beach or local swimming hole. And, the poor wildlife and strays. There was nothing I could do about it and, the heat is so oppressive it feels like it slows time. It makes every step taken heavier. Every inhale more suffocating than the last. I worried about the future of the PNW. I'd hate to see it become another California.
Thankfully, years of therapy, and constantly putting in the work to manage my depression (as best as I can) taught me to be more present and change my thinking. This new beginning has aided exponentially, and still is. It's like the environment around me wont allow for too much sadness. Let me explain...
The day before it got sweaty balls hot, I was coerced to go to the local park, though it was sunny and warm. Once under the cover the trees, I remembered to forage for Thimbleberries and plants for my Grimoire. I felt guilty for doing so while living in Southern California because you can't pick a damn thing there. It's actually illegal, even if you leave offerings. Over-harvesting and diminishing plant life and all. Up here, you can walk a trail and pick a few berries without being poisoned or given a fine. If you know what you're picking, of corpse. I use the app PictureThis to identify plants and have some books on order. I've never been great at being a Green Witch but, I feel the draw of it here. I want to nurture nature! It's easier to do that here.
On Sunday, I was resolved into holing up in the basement for the worst of the heatwave. Like we used to do most of summer in California. Instead, my Husband made sure we took off to the beach where it would be hot but, not 113 degrees as it was in Portland and Vancouver. I was terrified of the "what if's" that have plagued me so, I was quiet most of the drive. But, you know what? My kids were happy, about the outing or maybe it was because they got fast food and fast coffee treats. It's about a two hour drive to the coast. I was expecting to endure a smoggy and dirty sky with dried up fields. Instead the sky was clear blue, the trees were their typical vibrant green and the river, lakes, and creeks were sparkling. We have many swimming holes around us but, the crowds were to be epic and some were even shut down because of the heat. We also didn't want to take the chance to get to one and be turned away because we also had our Fur Baby with us. So, the beach it was. Besides, I'll never get enough of the ocean.
At first, I wasn't thrilled with where my Husband decided to park. There was no beach in sight. We knew we were along the coast but, we were surrounded by forest on both sides of the 101. He also decided to try his luck in the smallest parking lot he could find. I thought he mistook the parking lot for a trail. But, then I saw surfboards and other beach going like folks. But, where was the beach? (Snooki voice) The signs said "Walk -In" - meaning we had to hike a bit to get there. We had no clue how long the walk was, it was about 88 degrees and I was in Strangecvlt flip flops. I was so frustrated but, the further down the path we got, the more I realized we were in another majestic forest, it was cool under the canopy of trees, and there was creek flowing beautifully beside us. I was still nervous but, eased by the sounds of the forest and, the people walking the trail. They too were in flip flops, carrying big ass ice chests. There were kids swimming in the creek and we even let a Quinceanera party pass us by. The walk was only about 10 minutes, if that.
Short Sand Beach Trail, Oregon
The beach itself was paradise. It was warm out, but the cove was all soft sand and refreshing clear water. If you've been reading my blogs since March, you'll recall me writing about my Son who is never impressed with anything. He and I spent a lot of time playing in the water and chatting about life. Our Fur Baby, Zero, thinks he's a cat and didn't love the water. He made sure to make it known he was there to sun bathe. My Daughter even broke her "no sun rule" to take a few walks to check out the beach. While walking through the forest, she said "It looks like we're on Tom Sawyer's Island at Disneyland." That's all we had in SoCal. An expensive, small-scale remake that gives a glimpse of what we have within minutes or a beautiful drive away. So once again, despite a rare heatwave, the Pacific Northwest delivered it's natural antidepressant.
Short Sand Beach, Oregon
"You brought the SoCal weather with you, Michelle."
I heard that a lot this past week. I expected it. It doesn't bother me and I'm sure some folks find it amusing and, even hoping to find some sort of regret to come forth. Well, I am happy to disappoint those who thought so. I can’t be so pretentious to think the abnormal weather had anything to do with us moving here. I spent all of last week reminding myself this is not a personal attack. Sadly, this affects all of us. Not too long ago, there was another disaster I took personally. I learned quickly that wasn't the case. But, those who do and continue to still feel it to be a personal attack on freedom is clearly not in tune with reality. We humans, are a disease, a cancer, to our planet. Our original purpose was to become part of the world, instead we have mutated into toxic and deadly cells. The pandemic wasn't enough of a warning sign, now, Climate Change is accelerating.
I have zero regrets about moving to the PNW. I’d rather have endured this historic warning at its beginning than endure the heat of SoCal were high temps stay steady for weeks on end. I don't miss perpetuating global warming by running the AC, non-stop, from June through September. There are no seasons in SoCal. There is an end to the heat here. In fact, the last few weeks, when temps sat highs of 90, I noticed it only gets hot for a few hours before it cools off before sundown. When I was at Coffin Club the other night, I was chatting with some fellow dancers about the looming heat wave. Each one said it will suck and July is often a warm month but, one day in August, the weather we expected will return and it's worth every bit of discomfort felt during the summer.
I have barely scratched the surface of the offerings and beauty the PNW offers. There's so much of Gaia's energy to be harnessed here. The longing for pricey happenings, parking fees, and shows in LA is fading and that call to retreat, write, and explore keeps getting louder. While I am excited for some SoCal Halloween fun, seeing my chosen family, some of my actual family and friends, I am becoming more excited by the thoughts of going to Pumpkin Patches, drinking a PSL in Seattle, baking treats, Halloween Kills and to sit by myself with candle light and spend fall exploring PNW.
I still loathe Summer though.
Coming Up This Week with Michelle Halloween...
I'll be nurturing my Patreon this week. I'll be posting poetry, thoughts, and finishing a story I've been working on specifically for Pride Month.
After the heatwave, I am inspired to finally build a story from a nightmare I had when coming off of antidepressants. I've been holding onto it for about two years now, so I hope you all join in on reading it as I write it out in July.
Again, if you have ever wanted to read my writing, this is where the action is.
I am just about finished with Issue #4 of The Rawl of The Dead Magazine. I am hoping to have it published and ready to purchase after July 4th.
What Did You Watch While Taking Shelter In Your Basement?
I mostly wrote and let my Hub watch his Goth Damn Alaskan Homestead Shows.
However, Monday Night, I watched the new Netflix Series. Fear Street Part 1: 1994 !!!! Thanks to @horror_flick_chicks for holding this contest! I actually won a treasure!
I truly wish this series would go beyond three airings! But, that's all I am saying until this weekend. In the meantime, I may do a little blurb on my favorite R.L. Stine adaptions.
Firework stands are appearing in parking lots of church's, a Christian Run Recovery Center and very "'Merica proud" businesses here in Washington. My family and I aren't into explosives being available to the general public. Nothing good ever comes out unstable people playing with fireworks. Just like Summer, I can't stand July 4th. So, we will spend Saturday and Sunday munching BBQ from Vancouver's best BBQ joint (black owned) and watching Independence Day, Jaws and probably more Alaskan Homestead shows. Any other suggestions? Please.
What Have You Been Reading?
I haven't reading as much as I'd like to. I wanted to have a book review on Take Your Turn Teddy and Fairy Herds and Mythscapes. But, depression and all. Both are coming soon.
We still have July to get through. But, as soon as the 4th is over, Halloween goodies will start showing up in stores. The anticipation of Spirit Stores will begin. I look forward to the friends visiting in July and spending as much time with my kids as possible before they begin getting ready for school...
Oh wait, they don't start until August 31st here. Ha! Even more exploring PNW, looking for signs of Fall until then!
Stay cool in the meantime,
- Michelle Halloween