We left Oregon sixteen years ago, and since then have lived on an island in rainy Southeast Alaska. We moved back to Oregon this past January, and last weekend decided to leave watching the Mule Springs farm road being built to visit old haunts.
Indeed we have been gone a long time.
We drove over four hours to attend the Weiser, Idaho Fiddlers’ Contest. In the past we went to play old time string band music in the fields and parking lots outside the competition hall. Rarely would we go in the hall to watch the competition. We had the correct dates for the festival, but what we didn’t realize was all the old-timey style musicians were there a week earlier. We arrived at ten o’clock on Thursday night, and the last group of old time musicians had left the previous day.
So, feeling a bit out of the loop, we packed up the fiddle and guitar, and drove to the Goldendale Fiddle Festival in Washington, about 4 hours away; where thankfully, we did find folks to play music with.
Our drive to Goldendale took us through an arid landscape, which previously was occupied solely by antelope, deer, coyote, small mammals, raptors, wheat farms, cattle ranches, and a few people. Now the landscape is etched with white-winged windmills, and some farmers make more money wind farming than they do wheat farming or cattle ranching.
These giant flowing arms are disturbing, because they are so unlike dirt, plant, hoof, and wood; yet, they are oddly beautiful as we watch multiple white arms moving slowly in an unending circle. Part of me wants to slay them as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza would wish to do, for these giants are aliens, and their monstrous wings kill bats and birds of prey, but the part of me open to change, new beauty, and novel energy solutions is fascinated by the fresh patterns crossing familiar landscape.