"It's such a perfect day; I'm glad I spent it with you."
My husband's family owns a farm in Carlton, OR--rural Willamette Valley, where my father-in-law grew up. It's a small farm, as they were at the turn of the century, and it supported a dairy during its day. Today the brothers mostly run cattle on it, and vineyards spring up around them.
This is where Joe and I drove for the eclipse, August 21. We were a hair outside the line of totality, but the road trip was easier, more relaxing, and we still got the full eerie effect. The entire day--warm and mellow--the company I was with--it was perfect in every respect.
We were so fortunate that my father-in-law Ed joined us as well, because, you see, he lost his wife of 62-years two weeks before. She was a sweet and gentle soul; petite, unselfishly loving, and a born-and-bred Oregon farm woman at heart (even with a 50-year break in suburbia). Ed misses her deeply. We felt blessed to be there with him this day, as he enjoyed both our company and the surprisingly profound eclipse on that little old farm that's been the background of his life.
Carol's passing lent a poignancy to the day. Moments of beauty were felt more deeply. Less was taken for granted. We felt her with us. The sun, which we usually do not completely understand, showed us what it was like without its presence, for just a moment, not really gone. We found ourselves awestruck by this. The sun that is always a "given," and the planet which it warms and lights and gives life--they are everything.
Mostly, it was just good to be together.
I'd like to share some photographs from this summer at the farm. With the right focus and light, beauty starts emerging from the discarded farm equipment and "places between." The seemingly lifeless parts of the barn have a certain hum of their own; and there is a time in the late summer--the eclipse of 2017 was at the heart of it--when the weeds turn beautiful.
Enter here. With Joe. (Video of driving down the field):
On our way to eclipse viewing
"The Sky was weirdly lit..." (--Robert Service)
Sketch of the day
In the earthly Garden, as it were...even the weeds were elegant in that day of celestial light.
Song that played in my head all day (because of my travel companion):
Lou Reed's Perfect Day: here.
Please do take the time to comment below. I thank you kindly.
Story and photography by Alyse Lansing, © 2017