About a week ago we spent three nights at Jedediah Smith State Park campground. This area is home to giant coastal redwoods just northeast of Crescent City, California. Driving from the picturesque southern Oregon coast, as we neared the park the trees became denser and larger and the Smith River lazily snaked through the canyon below us. The Smith River is blue green from afar and crystal clear up close. It’s slow moving and amazing to swim in.
There are redwoods at the campground that are stunningly large and seem to quiet everything around them. They are a certain presence, a peaceful presence that one cannot help but feel to their core. These huge trees are over a thousand years old, the biggest of the redwoods are a few thousand. These trees have lived most of their lives without the presence of white people. They have seen generations of native peoples when the land was full of bears and mountain lions and wolves, standing in place, grounded in the earth breathing in and breathing out as wars have been fought, technology advanced, cultures were created and erased and as the universe has begun to be understood. There is a current theory that the trees today are possibly on track to be the largest in Earth’s history because of the high amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We really don’t know how large these trees can grow, we just must let them live and see.
After camping, we tore ourselves away from the peaceful groves of ancient trees and headed back to Portland for several days of work and city madness. I still teach in the city once a month, string classes and private lessons and I find comfort in the certainty of working out notes and rhythms with my students. We also performed as The Avett Others at our dear and incredible friends’ going away party. They are very recently retired and have bought a house in Mexico and are making the leap that so many of us have spoken dreamily about: Unplugging from American society and becoming an expatriate. I feel so honored to know Dan Cheryl. They are magnet, so kind and have taught me some lessons in how to truly enjoy this life. I can’t wait to hear of their adventures in their new life down south.
In the next week we are on to play lots of Oregon shows: Maupin, The Dalles, Prineville, eastern Oregon. Now time to rest a little before a show. Until then, thanks for reading.