Was I Born To Be A Cowgirl?
I was staying with a friend of mine in Hood River, a small town on the edge of the Columbia river. Holidaying, enjoying the differences … more like rolling in the differences, wanting to experience every bit of it that I could; go into the shops, walk up every road, watch the people, talk to anyone who would engage…and so many would. Knowing I wouldn’t be there for long and reveling in the Americaness and the contrast between the West of Ireland and the West of the US.
The Columbia River is in a deep gorge at that point and I took the opportunity of a lift to the North side of the valley so that I could walk up the scrubby hillside as high as I could go, and look down on the river.
The climb wasn’t arduous but it was certainly uphill and with the odd terrifying cliff to marvel. This is the sort of walk that I love…what’s over the next ridge, shall I follow this bit of path through the grass or take a chance on the one that looks like it’s going to end in mid air. Every choice a treat.
After an hour of effort I came to the top and before me, to the far horizon, stretched acres of warm, hamster coloured grass, moving slightly in the breeze, and the most odd and delightful feeling overtook me. A conviction that this was the best place, the right place, for me to be. A feeling of belonging and content. This place so far away from any of the places I’ve called home and the people I love, but giving me a stunning feeling of delight.
The view in the opposite direction, of the huge gorge with the massive expanse of flowing river, was nothing compared to what I had discovered.