Posted by: atowhee | November 2, 2020

A PLACE IN YOUR HEART

If you have ever visited, or birded, Pt. Reyes, you will know what a special, alluring place Abbotts Lagoon can be with its wind-driven sand dunes and the murmuring waves just beyond the waving grass stalks.

Robert Haas was born in San Francisco and his poetry often moves through the rich terrain and natural world of the region. One previous collection had “Olema” in its title. The following poem, is from Haas’s latest collection, Summer Snow.

“Abbotts Lagoon: October”

by Robert Hass

The first thing that is apt to raise your eyes
Above the dove-grey and silvery thickets
Of lupine and coyote bush and artichoke thistle
On the sandy, winding path from the parking lot
To the beach at Abbotts Lagoon is the white flash
Of the marsh hawk’s rump as it skims low
Over coastal scrub. The white-crowned sparrows
Loud in the lupine even in October, even
In a drizzly rain, startle and disappear…
And this is that new weather,
In the beginning of the middle of the California fall
When a rain puts an end to the long sweet days
Of our September when the skies are clear, days mild,
And the roots of the plants have gripped down
Into the five or six month drought, have licked
All the moisture they are going to lick
From the summer fogs, and it is very good to be walking
Because you can almost hear the earth sigh
As it sucks up the rain….

[the whole poem is wonderful but I left out parts so you may have to go find the book]

Some of my pictures from Pt. Reyes back in the pre-covid days when travel was not extraordinary:

Please read the comments. One from Lee McEachern avers that many people’s ashes are secretly interred at Pt. Reyes.
Then I added this reply to his note: It was preserved from housing in 1962 thanks to local Congressman Clem Miller. He was a Democrat and authored the bill to create the seashore…and tragically died in plane crash that same year. He is legally buried at Pt. Reyes.
From the internet here’s how to find the grave: “Burial site of U.S. Congressman Clement Miller. A plaque marks the location. It can be found at Point Reyes National Seashore at the end of the Bear Valley Trail on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.”


Responses

  1. Burials aren’t allowed at Pt. Reyes but you know the ashes of innumerable people lie in its soils. It is a place many of us love so much that we want to spend eternity there. Any joy, wisdom, solace and understanding that I can get from nature flows toward me at Pt. Reyes. When sleep is not coming on some nights and I lie in bed, awake, I think about the dawn sunlight at Pt. Reyes and the many times I have driven out there in the dark just to see that light upon all the plants and creatures and the ocean. And then I sleep.

    • Amen. It was preserved from housing in 1962 thanks to local Congressman Clem Miller. He was Democrat and authored the bill to creature the seashore…and tragically died in plane crash that same year. He is legally buried at Pt. Reyes.
      From the internet here’s how to find the grave: “Burial site of U.S. Congressman Clement Miller. A plaque marks the location. It can be found at Point Reyes National Seashore at the end of the Bear Valley Trail on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.”

  2. Thanks, Harry. Learning to breathe again after The Long Night.


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