Friday, March 16, 2012

One Grain of Sand: One Mother's Musings at the Oregon Dunes


With Winter nearly over, I finally managed to find time to head out for one of my yearly off-season yurt camping excursions to the Oregon Coast. Although these cold weather sojourns to the rugged stretch of coastline around Washburne State Park have become an annual occurrence for our family, and often something we do several times in a Winter camping season, this year was different because it was my first camping trip with my kids, on my own as a single parent. My son and daughter each invited along a good friend, and with the car laden down with gear, good food, bicycles, dolls and foam coated bopper "swords", we headed off for adventure. I must say that everything took a little longer heading out than I had planned, but finally by late afternoon we made it out to the coast and stopped at one of our favorite sand dune areas by Baker Beach just north of Florence. We had a break in the rain that was very well timed with our arrival, and everyone had a lot of energy to burn off after our rainy car ride across the Coast Range, so running up and down large hills and valleys of sand sounded like a good idea to all.


It wasn't long before I had a pair of sand burrowing wombats and dune warriors on my hands. It's a landscape that begs the imagination to run wild in imaginary play. I even found myself kicking off my boots and scampering around barefoot, marvelling at all the different textures and formations of sand and making patterns with my footprints.


Maybe it's the open, expansiveness of the dune landscape, but one can't help but feel very small when traversing these rolling hills of sand. After so many camping trips as a family and with groups of friends, I found myself really noticing that it felt different to be the only adult leading this group of children on an adventure. It was a lot of fun, and certainly rejuvenating to be out in nature, but still it just felt different. It's something that will take some getting used to on my part.


Out of all the adventures I've been on, none even come close to the adventure of parenting. It's a constant learning experience, filled with change and constant shifting, not unlike the moving hills of sand always forming and re-forming in the wind and rain. While we were roaming around the dunes, and I was pondering how small and humble I felt in the universe, I thought of this Pete Seeger song I often listened to with my kids when they were little called "One Grain of Sand." When I went to look up the lyrics, they really spoke to me in a whole new way. A most fitting song for this time in my life.



One Grain of Sand

"One grain of sand,
One grain of sand in all the world.
One grain of sand,
One little boy, one little girl.

One grain of sand,
One little star up in the sky.
One grain of sand,
One little you, one little I.

One grain of sand,
One drop of water in the sea.
One grain of sand,
One little you, one little me.

One grain of sand,
One leaf of grass--on a windy plain.
One grain of sand,
We come and go again and again, again.

I love you so,
I love you so, I love you so.
I love you so,
More than you will ever, ever, ever, ever, ever know.

One grain of sand,
One little snowflake lost in the swirling storm.
One grain of sand,
I'll hold you alone and keep you warm.

One grain of sand,
One grain of sand on an endless shore.
One grain of sand,
One little life, who'd ask for more.

One grain of sand,
One grain of sand, one grain of sand,
One grain of sand,
One grain of sand, one grain of sand,

One grain of sand,
One little star up in the blue.
One grain of sand,
One little me, one little you."

~Pete Seeger

 

2 comments:

  1. Hi Lara!
    Never heard that song before. Really beautiful.

    Love to you!
    Taryn

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was so good to see you on our way back! I love you guys!

    ReplyDelete