|At the mouth of the Pistol River, south coast of Oregon|
I lived in Colorado almost forty years. Most of that time I spent looking down. The burdens of life seemed always just on the edge of too much, as though at any moment I would be crushed under them.
Sometimes I was. Life isn't just difficult, to answer M. Scott Peck. Sometimes it's impossible. I've been through a few of those times.
I'm fifty-six now. It's an amazing thing looking back on four decades of life and realizing I didn't belong there. I belong here, on the southern coast of Oregon, near the Rogue River. Maybe I always have.
Suffering from depression, as I have the balance of my teen and adult life, has made lifting my chin even more problematic. It has also been a factor in seeing clearly, which then affects decisions, which then of course affects future outcomes. I didn't want to discover that I was friendless back in Colorado, and indeed probably always had been. I didn't want to see that I had no future there. I didn't want to acknowledge that it wasn't my home, and that I should move. Slumping around depressed, I continued pretending everything was all right and that I just needed to keep on keeping on.
I was wrong. Terribly wrong.
My life here in Oregon isn't perfect. Far from it. But here I have finally learned to lift my chin, to look into the misty distance--the "mistance," as I have called it to myself, and am now sharing with you. I look into the mistance and see a life, and a future, worth fighting for. Here in this spectacular part of the world--My Rogue Mile.