Elk River, Oregon © Tuula Rebhahn

River Time

The film was gorgeous but Tim’s short presentation afterward was electrifying, careening through fifty years of conservation history as his beautiful photographs flashed across the projector screen. As I watched, I couldn’t help but wonder where river awareness has been my entire life.

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In Praise of the Unmanicured Lawn

There’s a fat bumblebee swerving between the buttercups in the shaggy patch of grass below my porch. She delicately mounts a yellow petal and investigates its inner regions, then sails to the next, a shaggy head of white clover. I know I should mow the lawn. The dandelions are reaching their long necks up to…

Why I Love the Freeway

“Line up all the cars,” my nephew instructs, as only a four-year-old can. I dutifully place each metallic replica on the colorful plastic racetrack, bumpers touching. Spencer separates them each by a millimeter. 

“Good,” he says, sitting back on his haunches. He loves cars, and he loves things to be ordered. My brother walks by, eating pasta. 

“Too many cars on the road,” he observes. “How are they going to get anywhere?” We ignore him. The track is a loop, anyway. The cars are on it, and they’re exactly where they’re supposed to be. 

Plastic Woes and Bag Lady Foes

1) During the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers collected 120,450 pounds of plastic bags off of beaches in the United States. 

I just need some lentils. Well, and also some oats. I peer around the slow-moving bodies, hopeful for a stack of paper bags tucked between the rice and granola bins. A skinny kid in an apron is checking the steel jugs of vinegar, oil and syrup.

Pictures of Rocks and Sand

Geomorphology (from Ancient Greek: geo, “earth”; morphe, “form”; and logos, “study”): The study of the origin and evolution of Earth’s landscapes.
Geomorphophilia: The feeling of being in love with the way the landscape changes.

I walk cautiously down the narrow forest trail, avoiding little orange-bellied salamanders. (Are they star-gazers slow to seek their daytime hideouts, or just pine-needle loving amphibians out for a morning stroll?) I don’t stop to wonder…

© Tuula Rebhahn 2016

Jesus, Buddha, Trees: A Toast

The Tunnel*
Directly below us, there’s a tunnel full of alphabets and symbols. It starts right under the house and runs into the neighbor’s property, only of course they can’t see it, being underground. Only we in the house know about it; we have to be careful what we bring out.

We go down at night, bring our headlamps and cheese sandwiches in case we get stuck. The tunnel holds glittery promise: barrels of poetry, buckets of thought. We keep going. There must be something more, a new way of spelling the word love…

Zoes: A Fable

Part One: The Adoption Just before Hannah’s 25th birthday, I got the wild idea to get her a cat as a gift. Was it my idea? We’ll never know. Our good friend Silvia lives in Ashland, and this is where we were visiting for the birthday weekend. I also figured this would be a fine…