So often, I have searched for the point of life, trying to find meaning in its pitfalls, and pinnacles. In fact, as has been pointed out to me on various occasions, I have a penchant for littering my conversations with, “the point is…”
Yesterday, however, I did discover a point of sorts — Chetco Point.
My hostess had business in Oregon, so I drove up the coast with her, and she dropped me off in town. I had no plans, just thought I would see what I could see. After about a half hour of wandering, I saw a sign for Chetco Point. I followed the road, figuring anything that leads me to the point is a good route to follow. Turns out, Chetco Point State Park is a reclamation project, probably sponsored by the bordering waste treatment plant. There was a lovely little picnic area with a view of the ocean and a large sea stack (a remnant of an ancient coast line, too hard to wash away with the softer and sandier part of that old shore).
I took a pathway off to the left of the picnic area and discovered a trail leading up to the very point of the sea stack. A sign warned of danger, but after a brief hesitation, I ignored it. I saw nothing dangerous. I’d been on decidedly more treacherous slopes, though I admit I stayed few feet away from the crumbling edge of the very windy point. Adventure is one thing. Foolhardiness another.
I followed all the trails, took photos of every point of view, enjoyed the headiness — and aloneness — of this spectacular rock capped with lush vegetation until the arrival of a couple of young men and their selfie stick broke the spell.
There doesn’t seem to be a point to any of this wandering and wondering I’ve been doing of late, and yet it all matters because it’s experience. Which, in the end, I suppose, is the point of life and everything else — experiencing it.
(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)